Author: James Anderson

What to Expect at an A A. Meeting Alcoholics Anonymous

what is an aa meeting

High Watch was the first and therefore the oldest 12-step-based treatment center in the world still operating today. We understand that you may be hesitant to attend an AA meeting. Even after reading this guide you will probably be surprised at something that happens because there are so many potential variations on the traditional meeting.

what is an aa meeting

All AA meetings are over in an hour-and-a-half. You should arrive early to give yourself time to find a seat and settle in before the meeting starts to avoid disrupting the meeting. Online and telephone meetings are also available.

How to Find an A.A. Meeting

There are no limits or requirements to who can join except for a desire to defeat their addiction and lead a healthier lifestyle. At these meetings, people can give and receive support, gain information, and develop friendly social bonds to help them stay determined and inspired. AA meetings are incredibly effective in helping people reduce the consumption of alcohol and achieve complete abstinence. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reports that more than 2 million people from 150 countries are members of the Alcoholics Anonymous program. The same report indicates that participants display an 87.5% abstinence rate over a period of two years.

Isaak learned addiction psychology at Aspen University and got a Master’s Degree in Arts in Psychology and Addiction Counseling. After graduation, he became a substance abuse counselor, providing individual, group, and family counseling for those who strive to achieve and maintain sobriety and recovery goals. The effectiveness of the program largely depends on how much time a person spends attending the gatherings. The most beneficial AA meeting schedule should include at least 3 meetings per week.

Each person who attends AA is unique, but they share a common goal of wanting to address their problem with drinking. Some might be sober; some might be struggling. Some may want to mentor others, while others want to observe and participate less. Other studies have analyzed the effectiveness of peer support, in general, during substance use recovery and found that it contributed to a variety of improved outcomes. Outcomes were also improved for individuals with co-occurring substance use and mental health issues.

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The best AA speakers are often really funny. You may find yourself leaving the speaker meeting with the feeling that you just enjoyed a standup comedy act. Many people in recovery have a dark sense of humor and we mainly laugh at ourselves.

  1. It also contains stories written by the co-founders and stories from a wide range of members who have found recovery in A.A.
  2. People who put their number in this book do so because they really do want to help.
  3. It’s helpful to know that when you’ve had a hard day, or just a weird one, there’s maybe a specific kind of AA meeting that could help you feel better.
  4. If you are not comfortable leading you can decline.

This may be provided  on a slip that has been furnished by the referral source, or via a digital method if the group is online. The referred person is responsible for returning the proof of attendance. It is the problem drinker who is our concern. We cannot predict who will recover, nor have we the authority to decide how recovery should be sought by any other alcoholic. Meetings are held in-person, online, or on the telephone.

How To Join AA Meetings

AA meeting format differs from group to group, and it is important to choose the right approach for each individual. Alcoholics Anonymous gatherings share the same ideology and hold anonymity and respect in the highest regard. Information for people who may have a drinking problem. Also useful for those in contact with such people. AA’s 12-Step approach follows a set of guidelines designed as “steps” toward recovery, and members can revisit these steps at any time. Given the number of individuals struggling with or at risk for an AUD, it is understandable that AA has grown to what it is today—an organization with more than 115,000 groups worldwide.

AA utilizes a 12-step recovery model that focuses on applying specific principles as people work toward sobriety. Research suggests that attending meetings can lead to positive outcomes for many AA participants. Feeling a little nervous about going to your first AA meeting is normal! Learning more about how meetings work and what happens during a meeting can help you feel more comfortable. Each meeting is different but may focus on sharing personal experiences, discussing different steps of AA, or listening to scheduled speakers. Isaak Stotts is an in-house medical writer in AddictionResource.

Various platforms are used depending on what the group members prefer. Some are video meetings where you see each other’s faces. At other online meetings, everyone’s video is off. Still other meetings use a dial-in conference call number.

After the readings and prayer, what happens at the meeting will depend on what type of AA meeting it is. Proof of attendance at meetings is not part of A.A.’s procedure. Each group is autonomous and has the right to choose whether or not to provide proof of attendance at their meeting. Some groups, with the consent of the prospective member, have an A.A.

Many services allow a person to search for nearby AA meetings by zip code or region. After getting the time and date, the person can simply come to the gathering without any prior registration. During discussion meetings, the participants talk about a specific chosen topic that doesn’t necessarily center around alcohol abuse. AA meeting topics have a broad range and act to encourage the attendees to think about their issues in a new light. AA open meetings invite everyone willing to observe how the program functions.

AA meetings exist to help people with alcohol addiction to stop drinking and stay sober. There are many types and formats of the sessions to enable everyone to feel included and receive the support they need. Since alcohol abuse can frequently get overwhelming, it’s crucial to learn how to find an AA meeting, what to expect from the program, and how to get started.

Alternatively, it also allows site visitors to select a specific state or region, providing all meeting locations in that area. John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. He is the medical director at Alcohol Recovery Medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). People who wish to have more privacy should research what a closed AA meeting is.

Your primary care physician or mental health professional can help you find a local 12-step meeting. The meeting begins with the chairperson reading the AA Preamble, then leading a group prayer, the Serenity Prayer (short version). By Buddy TBuddy T is a writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. Because he is a member of a support group that stresses the importance of anonymity at the public level, he does not use his photograph or his real name on this website. Often, the next step is to read a passage from the Big Book and reinforcement about the importance of member privacy and anonymity. Meetings typically close with a prayer, moment of silence, recitation of the Responsibility Statement, or by reading a section of another A.A.