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The Glaser article criticizes 12-step programs for being «faith-based», but 12-step programs allow for a very wide diversity of spiritual beliefs, and there are a growing number of secular 12-step meetings. Dr. John Kelly of the MGH Recovery Research Institute led the most rigorous scientific review of Alcoholics Anonymous performed to date. Study results suggest that AA and other 12-step programs for addressing alcohol use disorder are very effective at supporting abstinence, improving alcohol-related outcomes, and doing so in a cost-effective way. In this video, the background of AA is explained, key study findings are highlighted, and Dr. Kelly, along with co-author Dr. Keith Humphreys of Stanford, discuss their work.

  • Several concepts used in AA add to the success of the program, including sponsorship, anniversaries, and social support.
  • Conversely, philosophical differences could negatively affect a patient’s involvement and outcome with AA.
  • Humphreys noted that the findings were consistent whether the study participants were young, elderly, male, female, veterans or civilians; the studies in the review were also conducted in five different countries.
  • Health care professionals and researchers, because of their clinical experience and contact with AA members, could be valuable resources for developing reliable instruments to measure involvement.
  • AA’s pamphlet on sponsorship suggests that men be sponsored by men and women be sponsored by women.

Bill Wilson wrote, «Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics». Bill Wilson visited Towns Hospital in New York City in an attempt to help the alcoholics who were patients there in 1934. At St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, Ohio, Smith worked with still more alcoholics.


If you’re interested in support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, don’t wait to get started. Aftercare treatment programs reduce your risk of relapsing and are great ways to meet and find support from others in recovery.

What is Alcoholics Anonymous

Different cultures affect ritual aspects of meetings, but around the world «many particularities of the AA meeting format can be observed at almost any AA gathering». With AA’s permission, subsequent fellowships such as Narcotics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous have adopted and adapted the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions to their addiction recovery programs. Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Additional calls will also be forwarded and returned by a quality treatment center within the USA.

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Others thrive on the support that loved ones can provide during meetings, hence open meetings. Carrying the message of AA into hospitals was how the co-founders of AA first remained What is Alcoholics Anonymous sober. They discovered great value in working with alcoholics who are still suffering, and that even if the alcoholic they were working with did not stay sober, they did.

  • AA receives proceeds from books and literature that constitute more than 50% of the income for its General Service Office.
  • Alcoholics Resource Center is supported by caring individuals with a genuine desire to help you achieve sobriety.
  • Without threat of retribution or means of enforcement, the Traditions urge members to remain anonymous in public media.
  • It should be emphasized that AA is rooted in spirituality, not religion.

The organization is dedicated helping members overcome alcoholism. It’s also important to note that meeting effectiveness depends on finding a meeting that’s right for you.

When was AA founded?

AA is a program for living that emphasizes abstinence from alcohol, personal and spiritual growth, and reliance on a higher power. The estimated membership of AA is over 1.7 million members in 150 countries. Members enter AA through multiple routes, and membership is diverse. Those most likely to affiliate with AA have more severe alcohol problems, more concern about their drinking, and a history of using external supports to cope with problems. Research has documented a significant correlation between AA attendance and successful outcomes. Research has not demonstrated that AA is more effective than other approaches to recovery from drinking problems. Alcohol and Drug Rehab Counselors specializing in alcohol addiction drug treatment and substance abuse issues are standing by ready to listen and address any questions or concerns that you may have.

Jane is a successful lawyer who works very hard to please her clients. Her saying has always been, ‘Work hard, play hard’ and she enjoys going out to celebrate her accomplishments with colleagues. Over the past few years, Jane has changed her lifestyle to going out every night after work for drinks, even with nothing to celebrate. She has been coming into work late after partying all night, and her work isn’t as good as it used to be.

Alcohol Dependence is not a medical provider or treatment facility and does not provide medical advice. is not owned or operated by any treatment facility. does not endorse any treatment facility or guarantee the quality of care provided, or the results to be achieved, by any treatment facility. The information provided by is not a substitute for professional treatment advice.

What happens at the end of an AA meeting?

At the end of the prayer they may say "keep coming back it works if you work it". 9. The meeting is now over. The attendees may stay and have informal discussion or ask questions of one another before leaving.