What is the Support Group, Alcoholics Anonymous?
Dear Dr. Steve:
I need some
advice. I am twenty-seven years old and live with my sister and her husband. They think
that Im an alcoholic. They say that whenever I drink that I act strange. They say
that I stumble around the house, slur my words, and oftentimes embarrass them in front of
their family and friends. Theyve given me an ultimatumeither sober up or get
out. Ive tried to quit in the past but Ive never had much success. I
cant afford to move out of their house because Ive never been able to hold a
job for very long. I dont know whether or not Im an alcoholic but I know I
have to do something about my drinking or Im going to be out on the streets. I am
convinced that I cant quit drinking by myself so maybe theres my answer there.
Where can I go to get some help?
for help is the first step towards abstinence and sanity for you. Although the path ahead
of you is long and arduous, you dont have to travel this journey alone. There are
self-help support groups in your community that can provide you with what you need
mostsupport, love, wisdom, and tools to help you achieve and maintain long-term
abstinence from alcohol and other drugs.
of these support groups is Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.). A.A. is a fellowship of men and
women who meet to solve their common problems and help others to recover from alcoholism.
The sole focus of A.A. is personal recovery and continued sobriety of alcoholics.
A.A.s aim is to play a role in assisting alcoholics to become abstinent and remain
abstinent. The only requirement for membership in A.A. is a desire to stop drinking.
In its simplest form, the program works by a recovering
alcoholic sharing their story of alcohol and other drug abuse, describing their
personal journey with getting sober and remaining sober, and inviting a newcomer to join
meetings people talk about their experiences with alcohol and other drugs, learn from the
experiences of other people who have struggled with maintaining and sustaining long-term
sobriety, develop coping mechanisms to deal with the potential triggers for relapse, and
heal from the love and support of others who struggle with many of the same problems.
The foundation of A.A.s program of recovery is the Twelve Steps and the Twelve
Traditions. Integrating the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions into every area of
ones life is essential for maintaining and sustaining abstinence from all
The heart and soul of A.A. are the Twelve Steps:
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could
restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the
care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being
the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became
willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except
when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were
wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our
conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will
for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these
steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in
all our affairs.
You can contact Alcoholics Anonymous at:
In the U.S./Canada: Look for "Alcoholics Anonymous"
in any telephone directory. In most urban areas, a Central A.A. office, or
"Intergroup," staffed mainly by volunteer A.A. s, will be happy to answer your
questions and/or put you in touch with those who can. Or, you can write to: A.A. World
Services, Inc., P.O. Box 459, New York, NY 10163 - (212) 870-3400.
of U.S./Canada, write or call the General Service Office located closest to you.
how to prevent and recover from chemical dependency as well as the aftereffects of
chemical dependency on you and your family. Read Dr. Frischs, Psy.D. series of
Insanity to Serenity.
1.) Contact a qualified healthcare provider.
2.) Contact your local chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous.
3.) Read as much as you can about the disease of alcoholism.
4.) Read as much as you can about what Recovery is.
5.) Meet as many people as you can at Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
6.) Integrate the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous into your life.