Alcoholics Anonymous came about in 1935 in Akron, Ohio when the very first AA meeting took place between Bill Wilson and Bob Smith. Since then thousands of alcoholics have passed through the doors of this informal institution.
For decades, this system of meetings designed to encourage sobriety has defied scientific studies and has almost as many detractors as it has supporters.
Among the latter are those who don’t understand the purpose of AA meetings for maintaining sobriety.
Here’s how AA meetings work.
The Main Purpose of AA Meetings
The primary purpose of AA meetings is to serve as a place where suffering addicts can go for help.
All over the world, AA meetings are the go-to for those who can no longer cope with their own addictive behaviors. AA meetings embrace a welcoming, non-judgemental place and aspire to be a safe haven for alcoholics from all walks of life.
There are no questions asked, no membership fees, and privacy’s a given. All you need to join AA is the desire to stop drinking.
Learning a Better Way
Many people attending their first AA meeting express surprise at the type of people they find there.
Open meetings are freely available to anyone who’ll listen and usually consist of a huge cross-section of society. Closed meetings are for AA members only but they’re just as diverse.
For many first-timers, it’s encouraging to see that anyone can achieve sobriety, sometimes against seemingly insurmountable odds. During each meeting, participants discuss different aspects of AA’s 12-step program and how they’ve implemented it in their lives.
Newcomers should focus on listening only for their first few sessions so that they can get their minds around how AA works before they start to participate.
A Form of Group Therapy
AA meetings are one of the most effective ways for addicts to avoid relapse once they’ve stopped drinking.
It’s refreshing for addicts to discover that they aren’t alone when they voice their concerns in the company of other addicts. In this way, AA meetings are an invaluable support system for recovering addicts.
A Place to Share
AA meetings serve as a place to discuss and learn about problems common to alcoholics.
Under the mantle of anonymity, people can speak freely about their experiences. What happens in AA stays in AA.
They’re also a place to celebrate triumphs over daily challenges as well as recognize major milestones by awarding different recovery coins for each year of sobriety.
Getting the Help You Need
You can rest assured that somewhere right now, there’s an AA meeting on the go somewhere in the world. If you can’t get to a meeting, it’s quick and easy to find one happening somewhere online.
Thanks to this, anyone can benefit from the purpose of AA meetings any time they need to. If you recognize that you have a drinking problem and you want to stop, contact your nearest branch of AA right away.
For advice of the more day-to-day variety, keep reading our blog for more information on a wide range of topics.