What you need to know about Alcoholic Anonymous Meetings
If you don’t know what AA meetings are all about, this article can give you straightforward answers.
The main purpose of AA meetings is to help alcoholics achieve sobriety and help others stay sober. There are two meetings you can choose from: Open meetings which welcome anyone who wants to attend and Closed meetings which are for people who admit that they have alcohol problems and want to stop drinking. The size of an AA meeting varies. It may be as few as three people or as many as 50 or more.
During the Open speaker meetings, the speaker and AA members tell their stories with alcohol and how they were able to begin living a sober life because of AA. In open discussion AA meetings, a speaker starts the sharing with his (or her) personal stories with alcohol and how he achieved sobriety working the 12 steps and traditions. Afterwards, other AA members will tell their story, struggles and discuss any alcohol-related issue that members will bring out.
Closed discussion meetings are conducted in the same way as open discussions. The only difference is that, only alcoholics or those who want to become AA members can attend.
Membership is free; no one is obliged to pay dues. AA is a self-supporting group and it does not accept contributions from non-members.
What is the main purpose of AA?
AA simply carries the message of recovery to all alcoholics seeking help. The fellowship wants to be a strong support system for recovering alcoholics by serving as a source of good personal experiences and inspiration.
Alcoholics Anonymous meetings were originally created to help men and women who have alcohol problems to share their experiences with each other. And, possibly offer hope and strength to anyone who needs help in recovering from alcoholism. Anyone who has a desire to quit drinking alcohol can be a member of AA.
What are the topics of AA meetings?
There are many topics that even newcomers can readily relate to. These topics include avoiding the first drink, staying sober one day at a time, serving others, latest theories on alcoholism, how the 12 steps work and more.
Are atheists welcome?
Everyone who wants to quit drinking can be a member. Some alcoholics are hesitant in joining AA meetings because they think it’s a religious organization. But, in reality, AA is not in any way affiliated with any religion, political affiliation or organization.
How can AA meetings help?
Members of AA are sharing their personal experiences with alcohol to everyone in the meeting who needs help. They give sponsorship or one-on-one service to an AA member who comes to the meeting. The AA members follow the AA program which outlines the 12 steps an alcoholic needs to follow to live a satisfying life apart from alcohol. The program is often discussed at the meetings and the sponsor can have follow-up discussions on the subject.
In summary, AA helps its members stay sober by allowing them to spend more time with individuals who support abstinence, and by boosting their confidence as to their ability to stay sober during social situations.