New Review Finds Alcoholics Anonymous Is Effective, But Not For Everyone : NPR

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These officers are supported by committees of The General Service Board and assisted by staff of The General Service Office. In AA, members meet in groups to help one another achieve and maintain abstinence from alcohol. Participants are encouraged to “work” the 12-step program, fully integrating each step into their lives before proceeding to the next.

  • By creating and maintaining this atmosphere of “true fellowship,” 12-step groups ensure that even the newest members can quickly gain a feeling of “belonging.”
  • We hope this material will inspire interest and spread further understanding of A.A.
  • John D. Rockefeller Jr., a lifelong teetotaler, was an early booster of the group.
  • He feels much more confident and stable, he says, than he did when he was drinking.

Alcoholics Anonymous has more than 2 million members worldwide, and the structure and support it offers have helped many people. The history of AA is the story of how one approach to treatment took root before other options existed, inscribing itself on the national consciousness and crowding out dozens of newer methods that have since been shown to work better. 12-Step AA meetings are often held in public, accessible buildings with lots of parking, such as churches, schools, coffee shops, and restaurants.

Tradition 5: Carrying the Message

After a discussion of the issue, during which all members have an opportunity to express their opinions, the group votes on the issue, and the majority vote decides the question. In this manner, the group maintains unity by providing an atmosphere where all voices are heard—from the oldest long-timer to the newcomer—and everyone has an equal voice and vote. If no one is in authority, how are “executive” decisions made? Decisions are made by the group as a whole through what is known as a group conscience vote. Any member of the group can request that a “business meeting” be held, separate from the group’s regular meeting time, for the discussion of any issue that affects the group as a whole. Declining these contributions keeps the fellowship independent from outside influences.

  • Mann was eager to bolster the scientific claims behind AA, and Jellinek wanted to make a name for himself in the growing field of alcohol research.
  • There are no age or education requirements to participate.
  • Humphreys noted that the findings were consistent whether the study participants were young, elderly, male, female, veterans or civilians; the studies in the review were also conducted in five different countries.
  • Speaker meetings are where there is a guest speaker who talks to the group.

The NIAAA, which had funded the research, repudiated it. Rand repeated the study, this time looking over a four-year period. AA meetings are gatherings where recovery from alcoholism is what is aa? discussed. One perspective sees them as “quasi-ritualized therapeutic sessions run by and for, alcoholics”.[59] There are a variety of meeting types some of which are listed below.

Facts About Anonymity

Sometimes friends or family of alcoholics also attend. At times people studying to be therapists attend, and frequently if the meeting is smaller there are all-around introductions and those who are not alcoholic identify as visitors1. These meetings are crucial to welcome people who aren’t sure they’re alcoholic and don’t want to identify as such but they still feel a need to reach out for help. The primary purpose of Alcoholics Anonymous is to help newcomers to recover. By helping others to recover we stay sober ourselves. Alcoholics Anonymous got its start at a meeting in 1935 in Akron, Ohio, between a businessman named Bill Wilson and a physician, Bob Smith.

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