Have you ever felt that talking with people who have experienced the same struggles as you ease your anxiety and discomfort? Do you feel less burdened or overwhelmed when empathic people listen to you? And sometimes even advise you to conquer the same mountain of challenges you currently face? If your answer to these questions is yes, then it may be time to consider finding a support group.

What is a support group? A support group is a group of people who meet to share their experiences, problems, and solutions. They exchange information on what to do or how to deal with personal struggles, particularly on health conditions such as alcohol problems. One of the most famous support groups helping people deal with their drinking is Alcoholics Anonymous.

what is alcoholic anonymous
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What is Alcoholics Anonymous?

Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as A.A., is a support group and a fellowship of people that come together to solve their drinking problems. There are various types of support groups, and A.A. falls somewhat under mutual support groups or self-help groups where the goal is to address some form of addiction, such as alcohol. These groups are usually peer-led and are facilitated by people who have had the same or similar struggles. These are in contrast to therapy support groups that professional therapists or medical practitioners handle.


5 Cool Facts About Alcoholics Anonymous


  • A.A. is older than World War 2

Alcoholics Anonymous started in 1935 and is more than 85 years old. The first group of A.A. started in Akron, Ohio, while a second group emerged in New York in the same year. A third group appeared in Cleveland four years later. From 1935 to 1939, A.A. produced about 100 sober individuals in its three founding groups.

The length of time that A.A. has been existing proves that whatever methods they started in the 30s have carried on to the present and are effective.

how does alcoholics anonymous help people deal with alcoholism
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  • A.A. started because of a meeting between two alcoholics

Before A.A. became a global movement, the roots of the support group emerged due to a meeting of a New York stockbroker, Bill, and a surgeon from Ohio, Dr. Bob, who were both desperate alcoholics aiming for sobriety. They were part of a nonalcoholic support group that focused on spiritual values, the Oxford Group.

Bill had gotten sober through the organization but also with the help of his friend. Before the meeting, Dr. Bob struggled with his drinking problem despite being in the Oxford Group. However, when he met Bill, a fellow sufferer slowly succeeding in overcoming his alcoholism, the effect was considered immediate according to the account of A.A.’s Beginning.

  • The big book

Did you know that Alcoholics Anonymous is also known as the “Big Book?” Before the movement or fellowship was called Alcoholics Anonymous, the name was what the basic textbook of the fellowship was called. The Big Book of A.A. contains the alcoholism recovery program of the group, and it was first published in 1939. 

According to A.A.’s history, the material for the Big Book was written by Bill, and it contains the movement’s philosophy and methods for recovery from alcoholism.

what is AA
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  • It is not only 12 steps, but 12 & 12.

The core principles of A.A. are contained within the famous “Twelve Steps.” However, did you know that there are not just twelve steps but also twelve traditions? This makes the basic principles of Alcoholics Anonymous a total of twenty-four.

The twelve steps are outlined in the book Alcoholics Anonymous, “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions” contains essays on the steps, and the book offers a chapter for each Step and each Tradition.

  • A.A. is global

A.A. is present in around 180 nations worldwide, and the estimated membership is more than two million. According to A.A., there are more than 123,000 A.A. groups worldwide. In addition, the literature of A.A. has been translated into more than 100 languages.

A.A. also holds a World Service Meeting biennially, which serves as an international forum for people to spread the message of alcohol recovery and sobriety and continue to pass on the legacy of the founders–to tell the world that recovery is a journey and it is possible whoever or wherever you may be.

how does AA help people deal with alcoholism
Source: Restore Health + Wellness Center

How Does Alcoholics Anonymous Help People Deal With Alcoholism

The global phenomenon and success of A.A. may be attributed to the fact that former alcoholics are the ones reaching out to people struggling with sobriety. A.A. is not a medical or therapy group but a support group that can offer mutual support and encourages alcoholics to do self-help. A former alcoholic who is now sober is in a position to successfully reach out to a struggling alcoholic.

The basic foundation of A.A. is embodied in its method: former alcoholics who found sobriety through the help of A.A. shares their stories with uncontrolled drinkers and describe the process of recovery toward being sober. New members or attendees of the fellowship meetings are encouraged to keep an open mind, listen to recovered alcoholics who share their personal journeys, and read A.A. materials or literature that discuss the program and the steps toward sobriety.

Summing It Up

Support groups help their members toward the path to recovery, and Alcoholics Anonymous, just like any fellowship or group, aims to serve as a fellowship of people that come together to solve their drinking problems. The drastic growth and development of A.A. in the United States and abroad may be attributed to the fact that, apart from A.A.’s core steps and traditions, it is the recovered alcoholic that facilitates or shares their experience on how A.A. has helped them in their journey toward sobriety. 

Alcoholism’s negative consequences are severe but Restore Alcohol Rehab Center LA has numerous effective treatment options that you can consider. Give us a call today!

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