The Role of Service in Addiction

When it comes to AA and other 12 step groups, there are a lot of expectations. You’ve got to remain sober. You must attend meetings. You need to work the steps. Make amends. Ask for forgiveness. And be of service. But what does it mean to be of service and how the heck are you supposed to do it?

Service in Recovery

The 12th step in the Big Book discusses the role of service for the recovering alcoholic and gives you the responsibility of carrying on the message about AA, recovery, and the sober life. An integral part of the AA philosophy is that to remain sober, you must help other alcoholics (or addicts) find their way to the program and help them find their way to recovery.

Do you need help getting sober? Are you ready for a life of recovery? If so, call 800-839-1686Who Answers? today to talk to someone who understands and can get you the help you need.

Being Active

When you’re an alcoholic or addict, getting sober is not enough. You must change the negative thinking and behavior patterns that got and kept you addicted. And to do that, you must be active in AA.

Part of the role of service and the 12th step is about being active at the local level and includes being at meetings, engaging with the new members, and showing them the benefits of the program.

Give It Away to Keep It

Service in Addiction

Talking to the public about addiction is one way to give back.

While AA is filled with clichés and sayings, one of the most prominent ones is this: You have to give it away in order to keep it. Yet this isn’t talking about things you love, it’s talking about recovery itself.

Service in the Rooms helps the individual as much as it does the people he or she is helping. It’s what you do to stay clean and sober and without it, the Program doesn’t work.

An Organization Run by Volunteers

AA and other 12 step meetings are run solely by volunteers. They are what keeps AA going. All meetings are organized, chaired, and run by recovering addicts and alcoholics, and none of them get any financial reward or compensation for completing their duties. What they get is recovery and the more they do, the stronger that recovery becomes.

What Is Service in AA?

So what exactly does service in AA look like? Service is anything that directly or indirectly helps other alcoholics or addicts get and stay sober. Here are some examples of service in the 12 steps.

  • Sponsorship
  • Helping homeless alcoholics or addicts
  • Visiting those addicted in prison
  • Taking phone calls from those who are looking for help
  • Talking to the public about addiction
  • Making coffee at meetings
  • Making cupcakes for meetings
  • Chairing meetings
  • Introducing yourself to newbies
  • Holding a group position

5 Ways to Talk to Someone About Your Experience with AA

Are You Ready for Recovery?

If you’re sick and tired of the rat race of addiction, then it’s time to call 800-839-1686Who Answers?. Our addiction professionals are waiting to take your call, answer your questions, and get you the help that you’ve been waiting for. Call today.

How Our Helpline Works

For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the 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 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.