Alcoholics Anonymous Overview and What to Know

Looking for an Alcoholics Anonymous Overview and What to Know? Alcoholics Anonymous is a group of people who have had, or currently have a drinking problem. It is accepting of everyone and is available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements to join this group. Anyone who wants to talk about or fix their drinking problem are more than welcome to join.  Alcoholics Anonymous was created in 1935 by Bill W. and Dr. Bob in Akron Ohio, and has been around ever since. It began with two people who sat down to discuss their issues with alcohol. Since that moment the group grew and multiplied and eventually became one of the most widely known alcohol support groups.

Who Can Join

Alcoholism and drug addiction are most commonly known as “substance abuse.” People who have relied on alcohol or used it inappropriately have been recommended to join AA. Everyone is welcome to attend AA meetings. Open meetings are accessible to the public, and closed meetings are more private and only for members of the group. The group is recommended for people who struggle with alcohol issues. People with problems other than alcoholism are still welcome to the group as long as they have, or have had a drinking problem as well.  While there are no real qualifications, it is recommended that you join this group only if you have the desire to help your alcohol abuse or misuse.

What AA Does

AA members share their experience with anyone who has a drinking problem and needs support or advice. The AA program created the Twelve Steps which offers people a way to live a good life without alcohol. These steps are discussed in more detail at the meetings.  During open AA meetings, people will usually tell their story—their personal experience, and what it's like for them now. Most AA meetings, however, are closed meetings for members only. Normally these meetings are discussion based. One person will come up with a topic and the others will share ideas and experiences that relate to what is being said. Some AA meeting discussions are more about the 12 Steps and what the AA meetings are going to help you with. Some people have misconceptions about what the AA meetings are really about. It is encouraged that you do more research or even attend a meeting to get a better idea of what AA is all about.


Due to the confidential nature of AA, scientific studies are limited to ensure that people in the group remain comfortable. However, there are multiple studies that have shown that people who were involved in support groups were more likely to remain abstinent after three year in comparison to those who tried to go at it alone. Other studies show that people who are involved in support groups as well as professional help have much better outcomes and results.  

Is AA for You?

Sometimes faith-based programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous don’t work for everyone. Although there are many people who say that they have noticed a positive difference after attending some AA meetings, the spiritual aspect is something that some people just don’t connect with.

Can AA help you? 

This is a question that cannot be answered by anyone but yourself. Try attending a few meetings to see if talking with others can help you. Aa does not cost any money, so it might be worth it to at least attend a few meetings.  If you or someone close to you are struggling with addiction or substance abuse, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities near you. If you are interested in more mental health resources, check out the National Helpline Database.

How to Find a Meeting

Alcoholics Anonymous can be found in many local telephone books. Call your local number for information on meetings located near you. This number can also be found online. If there isn’t a location near you some meetings are also online for your convenience.

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