When Should I Leave AA?
Since AA is a free program that does not require insurance, you can leave the group at whatever time is best for you. Call 800-839-1686Who Answers? to find AA meeting places as well as professional treatment programs that will be able to help you recover from alcohol abuse.
Deciding When to Leave AA
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states, “People can attend mutual-help groups as frequently and for as long as they want without insurance and without divulging personal information.”
The program also costs nothing so members will not be required to pay dues or participate in costly events at any point. You can leave the program whenever you like and do not need to discuss it with a doctor or counselor as you would in professional rehab.
However, all the flexibility of AA can make it hard to decide which option is best for you and when to leave the program. Many people stay in it because it is comforting, but it is important to continue to move forward in your recovery. Therefore, even if AA is very helpful to you at first, you may one day need to decide when to leave the program.
Stay in AA for as Long as It Helps You
The general rule is that longer participation in AA creates better outcomes for members. According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, “After controlling [one’s drinking] for the duration of AA attendance in year 1, the duration of attendance in years 2-3 and 4-8 was related to a higher likelihood of 16-year abstinence.” Still, it is important to remember that you shouldn’t merely stay in AA all your life on principle.
It is necessary to ask yourself periodically if the program is still helping you and if it is making your recovery stronger.
Should I Leave AA?
If you believe you may be ready to leave AA, ask yourself the questions below.
- Do you feel you no longer gain new insight from helping others join the program, going through the 12 steps again, attending meetings, etc.?
- Do you have a strong social support group outside of the program?
- Do you rely on the support of your fellow members less than you used to?
- Have you discussed your idea of leaving AA with a doctor?
- Are you at a place in your life where missing a meeting does not make things hard on you?
If you answered yes to these questions, it may be time for you to attend another program or to stop going to AA. This is not because it could be harmful to you if you still believe you need it but because it is best to move on from a treatment option once you have gained everything you can from it.
Still, AA is an open program where you can begin your attendance again any time you need it, which is extremely beneficial to those working through alcohol abuse recoveries.
AA Attendance and Treatment
Professional rehab and Alcoholics Anonymous work well together to help addicts and substance abusers recover and start a new and better life. Call 800-839-1686Who Answers? today to speak to one of our recovery experts and find treatment centers that will provide you with the options you need as well as access to AA meetings.