5 Common Myths About AA Alcoholics Anonymous, Debunked

Those who decide to overcome alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder, often join 12-step support groups such as AA Alcoholics Anonymous to help them achieve sobriety. Though AA has been helping addicts stay sober for several decades, there are common misconceptions about the program that may prevent addicts from seeking the help they need.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a drinking problem or another addiction, understand it’s never too late to get help. Call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-839-1686Who Answers? to speak with an addiction counselor about your options for nearby rehab centers that can help.

Curious about AA, but aren’t sure if the program is right for you based on what you’ve heard? Here are five common myths about AA, debunked.

Myth #1: AA is a Religious Movement

AA Alcoholics Anonymous

Although originally Christian-based, AA welcomes members of all religions and beliefs.

While the 12 steps of AA do refer to God or a Higher Power, the founders say that this concept refers more to the spiritual awakening you must experience in yourself to recover from alcoholism. AA welcomes addicts of all religions and spiritual beliefs, including those who practice atheism. AA is meant to offer a place of recovery, and not religion.

Myth #2: AA is a Cure-All

Many recovering addicts need additional help to overcome addiction than just going to AA. Addiction often stems from causes such as mental illnesses and previous traumatic events, which can be treated using counseling and therapy at rehab centers. Some addicts also struggle with overcoming physical dependence on alcohol, and benefit from going to detox centers.

AA is not to be viewed as a cure-all for alcoholism, but instead as a tool that offers support and enhances your journey along the path to sobriety.

Myth #3: AA Prescribes Treatment

AA can offer you the support and guidance you need to achieve sobriety, but does not prescribe treatments for addiction or alcohol dependence. When going to AA, understand you are there to learn and share experiences with other AA members that lend to the shared goal of sobriety.

Could AA Be Right for Me?

Myth #4: AA Pays for Addiction Treatment

AA does not solicit or accept funds from outside sources, and does not pay for addiction treatment. Your AA sponsor and other AA members may recommend rehab centers, detox centers, and other addiction treatment centers that can help, but AA itself does not pay for treatment costs.

Myth #5: AA is a Social Service Organization

AA does not have paid social workers or professional field workers. AA sponsors are available to guide members through the program, and to lend an ear when addicts struggle with recovery. But nobody in AA is paid to facilitate AA meetings and events, or to sponsor and help fellow AA members.

Many alcohol rehab centers offer AA Alcoholics Anonymous support groups to help recovering addicts progress along the path to sobriety after treatment has ended. Attending regular AA meetings can help addicts learn new ways to avoid relapse and rebuild their lives after overcoming alcoholism.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, understand that help is just one phone call away. Call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-839-1686Who Answers? to speak with an addiction specialist about nearby rehab centers and AA Alcoholics Anonymous groups that can help you or your loved one achieve lifelong sobriety.

How Our 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).

We are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. Our representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you. Our 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 our About AAC page. If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings or visit SAMHSA.