How Long Can I Stay in AA?
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “People can attend MHGs [mutual-help groups like AA] as frequently and for as long as they want without insurance and without divulging personal information.” This is one of the reasons why programs like these are so popular among recovering addicts.
AA is a Flexible Program
You can attend AA meetings every week––or even every day especially if you live in a big city––for several months, several years, and beyond. You can also attend one meeting and not attend again for weeks or years. Because the program is so flexible, you can stay in for as long as you like and never experience any issues with insurance, payments, etc. However, the program is often only able to give you what you put into it, meaning if you do not attend meetings regularly, you will be less likely to experience positive effects.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Most drug addiction treatment programs encourage patients to participate in group therapy during and after formal treatment.” This means you could potentially stay in AA from the beginning of your recovery and into the rest of your life. It all depends, though, on whether or not AA is beneficial to you and if you feel you are getting better or staying strong by attending meetings and staying in the program.
How Long Should I Stay in AA?
Just because you can continue to attend AA meetings for the rest of your life doesn’t mean you necessarily should. The decision should instead be based on whether or not the program helps you and whether you need it to continue your safe and effective recovery. Staying in AA may not hurt a person in some situations, but it can be best to move on from a treatment program of any kind if it is no longer actively benefitting you.
Therefore, you should stay in AA for the amount of time that the program continues to benefit you currently. If, in the future, you decide you would like to go back to AA after leaving for several months or years, you can absolutely do so and pick it up in a way that benefits your new situation.
Stay in AA to Get Better
As stated previously, there is no point in staying in AA as long as possible if it isn’t helping you. However, if you feel it is currently still making a difference in your life or even that attending meetings keeps you in a stable state of recovery, then you should attend as long as you want to and feel comfortable to do so. The flexibility of this program is what draws people to it in many ways, but it is important to still take stock of your situation and use the program appropriately to fit your needs.