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ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS

What is Alcoholics Anonymous?

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings provide a safe haven for people who have felt the impact of alcohol addiction to share their experiences and sobriety journey with others. The members build each other up and form a support system to help achieve and maintain long-term sobriety while also teaching the importance of self-care and providing support when needed most. 

The 12 steps meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous are designed to provide ongoing support to change the destructive and compulsive behaviors that fuel the addict’s addiction. Alcoholics Anonymous was established to help people learn coping skills to maintain sobriety and continue recovery; there are AA meetings every day of the week in some geographical locations.

Behavioral growth is possible.

An AA meeting helps one achieve sobriety governed by the 12 principles of recovery, written by its founders, Bill Wilson and Robert “Dr. Bob” Smith.

The Purpose of the 12 Steps

 The goal of the 12 steps is to help bring attention to alcohol abuse and guide the addict to full recovery “one day at a time.” The purpose of the 12 steps plays a major role in determining recovery, and:

  • To overcome denial
  • Develop supportive community
  • Learn skills and knowledge from others
  • Understand root causes
  • Recognize harmful impacts
  • Develop faith and hope
  • Develop the confidence to recover
  • Repair broken relationships
  • Help others through mentoring and support.
Each of the 12 steps is a meditation where recovering from addiction becomes a way of life. Different types of meetings exist to provide access to a supportive community.  Each member may be at a different stage of recovery as they work the 12 steps. There is even a commemoration of “time sober” as celebrated by the awarding of chips. These chips represent different lengths of time and provide tangible recognition of the challenges they overcame. 

The 12 Steps

As found on the Alcoholics Anonymous official website, the 12 steps are:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Reach out and take the first step. Speak directly to a professional!

AA and Spirituality

A spiritual transformation takes place as one walks the 12 steps; by sharing personal stories and influencing the supportive community, people develop a stronger sense of hope and possibility. By attending meetings, even online meetings, members can appreciate a supportive philosophy through the fellowship of its members.

Some of the original 12 steps mention God, which can turn some people off to the idea altogether. However, the wording has been updated to say “a higher power,” which is non-denominational and applicable to anyone. In this new iteration, a higher power just means any source of inspiration greater than oneself. 

Based on spiritual principles that help foster the person’s strength, AA seeks to manage the members’ emotional health and ability to stay in recovery.

Signs of Addiction

Because we mainly consider alcoholism and other addictions a diagnosable medical condition, there are written telltale signs that someone is experiencing an addiction, including:
  • Using drugs or alcohol alone
  • Physical changes
  • Justification of the substance use
  • Refusal to admit a problem
  • Mood swings
  • The increased tolerance level of the substance
  • Inability to stop using once they start
  • Aggression
  • Secretive behavior
  • Reckless decision making
  • Desperation to use
  • Strained relationships
  • Changes in routine
  • Blackouts or overdoses
  • Related medical conditions
  • Using drugs or alcohol alone
  • Physical changes
  • Justification of the substance use
  • Refusal to admit a problem
  • Mood swings
  • The increased tolerance level of the substance
  • Inability to stop using once they start
  • Aggression
  • Secretive behavior
  • Reckless decision making
  • Desperation to use
  • Strained relationships
  • Changes in routine
  • Blackouts or overdoses
  • Related medical conditions

Types of Meetings

As Alcoholics Anonymous has radiated its effect into the communities, there are numerous versions of daily or weekly meetings that serve the variety of its members. Even online AA meetings are effective and safe during these times, where addiction can be at its worst; basic meetings include: 

“Closed” For members in a specific group of recovering addicts.

“Open” Anyone can attend, share with others, study, and observe.

“Step meetings” Celebrate recovery steps by commemorating progress through “chips” that mark the length of time sober.

“Discussion meetings” are Either speaker-based, where 1 or 2 members share at length to the group, or as a group to share personal stories as much as comfortable. There are readings from the Big Book, the official text of the Twelve Steps and Traditions. Emotional health support is given to one another by not commenting but rather disclosing.

AA has modernly branched into numerous versions of itself, such as Narcotics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous, Emotions Anonymous, and Overeaters Anonymous, which follow the same principles of AA but apply the philosophies to different problematic aspects of life. 

To find a local AA meeting in Orange County, CA, you can follow the link below.
Orange County AA Meeting Directory

Or contact Opus Health directly by calling tel: 855-953-1345

Alcoholics anonymous