Founded in 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is: “a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.”
From the Alcoholics Anonymous website: “The only requirement for membership in AA is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership. AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution. The primary purpose of AA is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. AA believes that alcoholism is an affliction of mind, body and spirit and that the twelve-step program helps to heal not only the body but also the mind and the soul. The twelve steps are intended to help a person achieve the following four phases: admission that you have an addiction and need to abstain from drinking, submission to a higher power, restitution or making amends with individuals you have harmed in any way and spreading the message of AA.”
The Twelve Steps:
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. We continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
People who wish to abstain from alcohol and who can benefit from a group therapy environment with some religious content (for example, references to a Higher Power).
Has AA helped you? Share your story.