When is the Best Time to Join AA?

One of the most desirable things about AA is that a person can join the program at any time, for free, and leave at any time. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, people can stay in the program as long as they choose “without insurance and without divulging personal information.”

Essentially, this means an individual can join AA whenever they like and whenever they feel the program may be best for them. But what is the best time to join AA?

During Treatment

Many formal treatment centers implement AA into their programs for patients. They allow time for meetings, even in residential and inpatient centers, and provide patients with therapy sessions that incorporate and connect with the teachings of AA.

As stated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Most 12-step-based programs concentrate on the first five steps during primary treatment, whereas the remaining ones are attended to during aftercare.”

Still, this can create a strong foundation of recovery for those who begin AA during their formal treatment regimen. The program easily fits in with the behavioral therapy and medication used in professional treatment, and many individuals gain a great deal from this arrangement. They are also able to meet others while attending group meetings, which can be highly beneficial for their support network and their self-esteem.

After Treatment

Time to Join AA

Many people wait until after their formal treatment is over to join AA.

Some people prefer to wait until their formal treatment regimen is over (or at least until they are out of their initial rehab program) to begin AA. This can be a valid choice too, as AA can then become a strong aftercare option that can allow these individuals to continue through their recovery with help and support.

Many individuals require this kind of support the most after they have left their initial treatment program because they will not be used to being on their own in their recovery yet.

Going to meetings like these post-rehab can also remind the person of their commitment to their sobriety and their recovery. It can help them keep the changes they made while in addiction treatment and continue down the right path.

When is the Best Time to Join AA?

It really depends on when the best time is for you as an individual. You may not feel you have the time or ability to give it the necessary focus while you are also going through medically assisted withdrawal or navigating your formal treatment program, or you may feel that, during this time, AA can add another layer of support. Whatever you decide, it is important to think about whether or not the program is helping you.

If you attend several meetings and decide you would like to do so again at a later date, there is no penalty and no fee; AA is always available. However, you should absolutely seek some sort of treatment immediately if you are struggling with alcohol abuse or addiction.

If you would like to learn more about AA or find a meeting in your area, call 800-839-1686. Remember that however you choose to recover from alcohol abuse, whether through AA, in a treatment center, or both, the best time to seek help in general is now.

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