Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) is
a 12-step program that uses personal experience as a means to
reach other suffering alcoholics. There are many 12-step programs
in use today; however the original 12-steps were adapted from
the basic text of Alcoholics Anonymous. While A.A. does not hold
a monopoly on recovery, it has helped hundreds of thousands of
alcoholics achieve sobriety around the world. Members of Alcoholics
Anonymous do not have to adhere to any rules or guidelines, but
it is suggested that they follow a few simple principles to help
them stay sober.
Alcoholics Anonymous and other
step programs are utilized in treatment and recovery centers
through meetings, fellowshipping and literature, but A.A. does
not have any affiliation with these organizations. People who
have gotten in trouble with the law because of drugs or alcohol
are often given the opportunity to choose 12-step meetings and
rehabilitation instead of incarceration. Alcoholics Anonymous
also goes into hospitals and institutions bringing meetings, literature
and hope to people who want to get sober but are not sure how.
The 12 steps of Alcoholics
Anonymous begin with an admission of a problem with alcohol.
This step is extremely important because it means that the alcoholic
has come out of denial enough to admit that alcohol is causing
problems in his/her life. A.A. does not scold or look down upon
people who are unable to get or stay sober, but suggest that the
alcoholic continues to try the 12 steps. Instead of being a behavior
modification program with no significant results, Alcoholics Anonymous
stresses complete abstinence as the only plausible solution to
alcoholism and it works to change a person’s attitudes and
way of life.
The 12 steps are numbered because
they are meant to be taken in order. There is a spiritual aspect
to A.A. but members are not forced or pressured into believing
anything. It is also recommended that the alcoholic take action
in relation to his/her alcohol problem by making amends to people
that he/she has harmed as well as passing on what has been learned
to other alcoholics.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a helpful
tool on the journey towards recovery. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings
are held around the world, with literature printed in many different
languages. People who consider themselves alcoholics may want
to undergo a medical detox along with a rehabilitation program
before utilizing A.A. to their full advantage. Going to regular
meetings, sharing with other members and taking suggestion are
a few basic resources of the 12-step program.