5 Benefits to Gain From 12-Step AA Meetings

The 12-step recovery program created by Alcoholics Anonymous is designed to help alcohol addicts achieve and maintain sobriety. During 12-step AA meetings, participants follow a set of steps from the The Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous) to help them overcome alcoholism and addiction.

Originally published in The Big Book in 1939, the 12 steps have helped millions of addicts throughout the years, and are viewed as the best way to overcome alcohol addiction, according to recovering addicts who have used the steps to stay sober.

Considering there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to recovery, and recovering from alcohol addiction can take years, there’s no wrong way to approach the 12-step program, as long as it helps you achieve lifelong sobriety. To begin your journey toward an alcohol-free life, call our helpline at 800-839-1686Who Answers? to speak to a counselor who can help you identify available treatment programs and resources.

Ready to attend your first AA meeting? Check out these 5 benefits you can gain from attending 12-step AA meetings.

1. Learn New Strategies for Overcoming Addiction

AA Meetings

You can speak openly at AA meetings without fear of being judged.

AA meetings are the ultimate setting in which to learn new tricks and tips for overcoming alcohol addiction. At nearly every 12-step meeting, you’ll have the opportunity to listen to other addicts describe and share their personal experiences with addiction. Not everybody is obligated to speak out and share during meetings, but doing so can ignite inspiration and hope in those who are struggling with addiction.

Take time during meetings to really listen to your peers as they describe and share their stories. You might just pick up a few new ideas that can help you achieve lasting sobriety.

2. Connect With Like-Minded Individuals

Nearly everyone you meet at 12-step AA meetings understand what you’re going through as a recovering addict. This bond allows you to help one another get through difficult roadblocks on the path to recovery, especially on days you’re feeling lost, hopeless, and alone. Going to 12-step meetings allows you to share experiences, strength, and hope as you all pursue the common goal of sobriety.

3. Thrive Where There’s No Judgment

Judging others is not part of the 12-step AA philosophy; therefore, you can attend AA meetings with peace of mind knowing that you won’t be judged for your actions, past or present. When you attend 12-step meetings, the general focus will be on honesty, sincerity, compassion, and a strong willingness to help alcoholics overcome their problems with addiction.

If you attend an AA meeting and feel that you’re being judged, try attending other 12-step meetings that make you feel more comfortable in regards to sharing your struggles and experiences with alcohol addiction. Sometimes, you might have to attend different AA groups before you find the right group that works best for you as an individual.

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4. Get Help Whenever You Need It

The early stages of recovery are often perilous and extremely difficult. You might feel a strong urge to drink, and face problems with breaking old habits. You might even experience intense cravings that threaten to lure you back into your most darkest place. Joining a 12-step AA group gives you access to help whenever and wherever you need it, even when you’re at your worst.

When combined with encouragement and support from other AA members, the 12 steps can help you avoid relapse. Your AA sponsor and the members of your AA fellowship have experienced similar roadblocks, and can help you get back on the path to sobriety and recovery.

5. Meetings Are Free to Join

Best of all, 12-step AA meetings are free to join, and available in nearly every town and city. The only requirement to join AA is the desire to stop drinking and achieve lifelong sobriety. To find a 12-step AA meeting in your area, ask your counselor or physician for referrals. These types of health care professionals will be more than happy to pass along your information to an AA group or sponsor who can get you started on the 12 steps to recovery.

Do you need help finding 12-step AA meetings in your area? Call our helpline at 800-839-1686Who Answers? to speak with a counselor and receive advice and guidance on finding the best AA group. Your sobriety and anonymity is our top priority, and we’re available 24/7 to discuss your treatment and recovery options.

How the helpline works

For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the AlcoholicsAnonymous.com helpline is a private and convenient solution.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by American Addiction Centers (AAC), a paid advertiser on AlcoholicsAnonymous.com.

AAC representatives are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. These representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you. This helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither AlcoholicsAnonymous.com nor AAC receives any commission or other fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.

For more information on AAC’s commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit AmericanAddictionCenters.org. If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings or visit SAMHSA.