Only you can decide whether to give AA a try. In AA, they don’t diagnose you and tell you if and when you should stop drinking. That’s your decision to make.
So what is AA?
AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) describes itself as a fellowship – where both men and women are free to talk about their stories relating to alcoholism. There’s only one requirement for membership; you must have the goal to quit drinking. The sharing environment at AA allows people to share strength and hope with each other, and find common ground in the day-to-day battle with the bottle.
AA is a free membership, and is not associated with political, religious or corporation groups. AA has one primary purpose, to help alcoholics achieve and maintain sobriety. There are around 2 million members of AA across the globe, and in Australian there are close to 18,000 recovering alcoholics.
AA is nonprofessional – it doesn’t have clinics, doctors, counsellors or psychologists. All members are themselves recovering from alcoholism. There is no central authority controlling how AA groups operate. It is up to the members of each group to decide what they do. However, the AA program of recovery has proved to be so successful that almost every group follows it in very similar ways.
Because AA is not associated with any religous body, it welcomes members of all religions, agnostics or atheists alike. As they state on their website: “You don’t have to sign up or achieve anything to be a member. You’re a member of a group if you choose to be. You can come and go as you please. No one is “in charge” of a group. We work through the offer of help and suggestion only. No one can tell you what you should or shouldn’t do.”
AA functions by allowing members the space and security to share tales of their life and battle with alcoholism. These could be stories of what their life was previously, what their life is now, or what they expect to happen in the future. The AA program (12 Steps) also provides a strong, proven framework for recovery.
What AA does not do:
- Furnish initial motivation for alcoholics to recover.
- Solicit members.
- Engage in or sponsor research.
- Keep attendance records or case histories.
- Join “councils” of social agencies.
- Follow up or try to control its members.
- Make medical or psychological diagnoses or prognoses.
- Provide drying-out or nursing services, hospitalisation, drugs, or any medical or psychiatric treatment.
- Offer religious services.
- Engage in education about alcohol.
- Provide housing, food, clothing, jobs, money or any other welfare or social services.
- Provide domestic or vocational counselling.
- Accept any money for its services, or any contributions from non-AA sources.,
- Provide letters of reference to parole boards, lawyers, court officials, social agencies, employers, etc.
Is AA for you?
Take this questionnaire on the official AA website to find out if Alcoholics Anonymous is for you.
CLICK HERE FOR QUESTIONNAIRE
How does Habitat Therapeutics view AA?
At Habitat Therapeutics, we are firm believers in the benefits of attending 12 Step Fellowships like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Both the directors of TH and most of our staff are long terms members of one or both fellowships.
Since 12 step philosophy underpins all treatment and support services provided by HT, attendance at meetings is a compulsory part of all HT programs. 12 step meetings augment the content of the HT programs in a number of valuable ways such as:
- Providing a peer community who are examples of ongoing abstinence and recovery
- Providing residents with the opportunity to build support networks that are necessary for post-treatment and long-term recovery
- Allowing residents to identify beyond the resident community
- Providing a safe, drug free social network
- Reinforcing principles and ideas taught by HT.
It is an important feature of 12 step fellowships that they have no formal association or alliance with any outside organisations. Therefore, HT has no official relationship, arrangement or agreement with any particular meetings or fellowships. Residents of HT programs attend meetings as anonymous individuals, just as anyone from the general public does.
HT respects the 12-step tradition of having no outside affiliations and understands that its purpose is not to divide fellowships and organisations. HT and 12 step fellowships have a history of mutual respect, recognising that both can make significant contributions to recovery.