Why Does AA Teach Total Abstinence?

There are many reasons why AA teaches total abstinence, which is a concept that can be very beneficial to you as a recovering alcoholic. Call 800-839-1686 to find safe, reliable treatment centers where you can attend AA as part of your recovery.

Acceptance is Key

Acceptance, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is one of the three key elements that predominates 12-step therapy, which is often used in treatment programs that provide access to AA meetings as well as a controlled environment and professional therapy.

The journey to understanding abstinence starts with the acceptance that one’s drug or alcohol abuse is out of one’s control. The person must then realize that “life has become unmanageable” because of their substance abuse and that their willpower alone will not be enough to allow them to overcome their problems. Therefore, abstinence becomes the only solution. As stated by the principles of AA, once a person realizes this, they can truly begin their journey of recovery.

Abstinence Takes Control Out of the Equation

Total Abstinence

Practicing abstinence takes away the struggle of self-control.

The reason may people seek out addiction treatment, especially residential care, is because they are struggling with their inability to control their substance abuse. Residential programs take control out of the equation, as patients are monitored 24-7 without access to alcohol or substances they could abuse. This helps them avoid the dangerous side effects that can occur with relapse.

But what does one do once they leave residential treatment? When there is no longer a controlled program leading you through your recovery and keeping you from abusing drugs and alcohol, how do you restrain yourself from using these substances too much now that they are available to you?

AA teaches that it is much safer for one to avoid this question altogether by not using any of these substances again. In this sense, residential treatment programs that utilize the 12 steps as well as AA meetings are teaching patients a way to take their struggle for control out of the equation for good.

Abstinence Works

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “Some scientists believe the improvement in participants’ social network and the support they receive for abstinence may explain the success” of programs like AA.

Abstinence is not only taught in these groups, but it is encouraged by other individuals who practice the same principle. This can be very helpful to see in other patients when you are in residential treatment.

The approach of abstinence has been found to be beneficial for many recovering addicts, especially alcoholics. Because alcohol is so readily available and easy to obtain, it is better for recovering individuals to decide not to drink at all instead of trying to control a behavior they already know is hard for them to manage. This approach does work and has been enormously successful for many individuals, in and out of treatment.

Can I Be in Alcoholics Anonymous and Still Drink?

How Can I Find Rehab Programs that Use AA in Treatment?

Call 800-839-1686 to find recovery programs that utilize AA meetings and the 12-step philosophy as well as other methods proven to be effective for many individuals. We can also help ensure that the facility you choose will cater to your particular needs and create a program specifically tailored for you. Call now.

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Your call is routed to a general helpline call center where caring admissions coordinators can help you decide what treatment option is right for yourself or for your loved one. Our helpline is NOT affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous/AA nor does AA sponsor the treatment options that are recommended when you call.

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