The 12-step alcohol program, Alcoholics Anonymous, was initially created to help individuals struggling with alcohol and substance abuse issues. Though there are currently a wide array of groups utilizing similar teachings and formats, AA was the first to offer a safe and non-judgmental environment where addicts could share their pain, stories and successes with others. If you believe the 12 step process might be a good fit for you or a loved one, the entry below will provide you with a guide to getting the most out of the experience.
1 – To rid yourself of any obstacles, be sure to gather meeting information well in advance. Though making the decision to attend an alcohol anonymous 12 step program is a momentous step forward, when it comes to addiction, following through is rarely a strong point. For a list of meetings in your area, simply hop online or consult your local phone book.
2 – Talk to a close friend or relative to help you stay accountable or even attend with you. There are countless excuses to avoid optional and unwanted circumstances, and this is certainly without exception. Once you’ve attending your first meeting, make sure to grab a schedule to help you plan accordingly. If you find that the meeting just isn’t your thing, try again! Most areas have numerous meetings with different participants and locations. Look around and find the one that feels most comfortable to you.
3 – Get yourself a sponsor. Sponsors are individuals of the same sex who have an extended period of sobriety and can relate to your particular story. This individual will be your go-to support source if and when you begin to experience issues in your recovery. Finding a sponsor isn’t difficult, and typically only requires asking around.
4 – In order to realize the full potential of the 12-step program, you must utilize each of the available tools. This includes meetings, phones, sponsors and of course…. The 12 steps. When you begin to attend meetings, you will be provided with a few phone numbers of others to call if needed. These contacts can prove useful not only in a supportive way, but as a means to communicate socially. Addiction in an extremely isolating disease, perhaps best combated through sharing and support. By making the decision to utilize all that AA has to offer, many people are able to achieve the sober, happy and fulfilling lifestyle they’ve always dreamed of.
Though many people come to AA following completion of an alcohol drug detox, there is no typical story or participant. Keep your mind, heart and arms open; a whole new life is waiting just around the corner.