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How Does Alcoholics Anonymous Help People With Alcoholism?

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a global organization founded by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in 1935 in Akron, Ohio. It was founded to assist former alcoholics undergoing recovery on their pursuit of sobriety. It is also the largest alcohol support organization worldwide as well as the oldest.

Alcoholics Anonymous has also motivated the rise of other support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Statistics have shown that about two-thirds of individuals that have ever been treated for alcoholism have taken part in no less than one AA meeting in their life.

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AA meetings can be attended by all people of various genders, races as well as peers and families of those seeking recovery. Individuals seeking recovery from alcohol are dedicated to quit alcohol abuse and attain sobriety.

AA meetings provide several methods to support alcoholics’ ongoing recovery, for instance, the use of a 12-step recovery program. The organization also has 12 traditions that were formulated to keep it stable and also protect it from outside forces who would deter it from its mission. 

AA’s aim, being addicts helping each other to attain sobriety, it is managed by former alcoholics who assist newly seeking alcoholics to be sober.

Formation of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

The formation of AA was inspired by the Oxford Group principles, which was a Christian-based self-help group. The Oxford Group is somewhat similar to modern-day AA meetings. Bill Wilson’s decision to quit alcohol consumption was after undergoing a great spiritual awakening in 1934.

This led him to join the Oxford Group to assist individuals affected by alcoholism. However, he only managed to keep up with his self-sobriety, and his aim to help alcoholics failed terribly from early to mid-1930. At one time, he almost relapsed and thereby realized that assisting other individuals was the only method to remain sober.

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Suggestions were that Wilson needed to use a scientific approach in relation to treating alcoholism instead of the Christian approach to recovery. Thereafter, he visited Akron, Ohio, where he came across an individual battling with drinking alcohol (Dr. Robert Smith). Bill Wilson helped Smith to overcome alcoholism for 30 days till June 10, 1935.

The date later became Alcoholics Anonymous’s official anniversary date worldwide. Wilson and Smith were highly criticized due to their practices while they worked under the Oxford Group. This made them break away from the Christian-based self-help group in 1937 and founded Alcoholics Anonymous.

However, they still retained some practices of the Oxford Group, for instance, volunteering, having gatherings, and going through steps to achieve recovery. They also amended several things too. In 1938, Bill Wilson put together suggested practices that advocated for spiritual growth in a book he named ‘Alcoholics Anonymous.’ The practices are also referred to as the ‘Twelve Steps.’ 

The 12 AA Traditions to Help You in the Recovery Journey

AA traditions and steps are drawn from the 1938 ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’ book by Bill Wilson to guide individuals to undergo recovery easily and avoid distraction from outside forces. They boost members the confidence to know that what they bring out in AA meetings is confidential. They are;

  1. Our common recovery should come first; personal recovery depends on AA unity.
  2. For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.
  3. The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.
  4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole
  5. Each group has but one primary purpose; to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
  6. An AA group ought never to endorse, finance, or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
  7. Every AA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
  8. Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ specialized workers.
  9. AA, as such, ought never to be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
  10. Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name ought never to be drawn into public controversy.
  11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of the press, radio, and films.
  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

The 12 Steps You Need To Take When Undergoing Recovery

AA 12 steps help an individual to avoid relapse when undergoing recovery. They are;

  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 themselves.
  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 character.
  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.
  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.

Getting The Best Alcohol Addiction Treatment

The Detox Center of Los Angeles is a fully accredited and licensed drug and alcohol detox, rehab, and PHP located in Los Angeles, California. We provide treatment for various addictions such as; alcohol addiction, cocaine, fentanyl, marijuana, codeine, opioid, benzodiazepine addiction, and also co-occurring disorders.

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Our center uses various therapeutic methods that vary according to individual needs and preferences. They include; Spirituality, solution-focused, breath work, Jungian, salt-water, and trauma-informed therapy. The Detox Center of Los Angeles also accepts the majority of the private and commercial insurances.

We have a luxurious facility with qualified doctors and a clinical team that checks on every individual undergoing treatment. We also have an outpatient treatment program, detox program, and a residential treatment program. Each person is thoroughly assessed before treatment to reveal any underlying issues for their problem. Consult The Detox Center of Los Angeles today to kick start your treatment from your addiction or problem.


Individuals interested in joining support groups such as AA should be encouraged as they get to relate with others who had the same problem and feel motivated. This aftercare treatment plan is greatly useful as it helps reduce the chances of relapse for former alcoholics. Since recovery is a long journey, sticking together in unity as you transition with your newly found sobriety is essential among peers.

 Former alcoholics get new ways to cope with what triggered their alcoholism, such as stress and loneliness. They also make new friends as they interact with each other during meetings. This helps to avoid chances of relapse if at all, the individual’s friends had a hand in the drinking problem. They also indulge in other activities to keep them busy to avoid alcohol consumption.


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Will my insurance cover treatment for addiction?

The Detox Center of L.A. accepts most major insurance providers and private healthcare policies. We offer free insurance verification as well as eligibility and benefits for both behavioral and mental health treatment services. Please fill out our insurance verification form here to verify your insurance.

What happens in addiction

Effective addiction treatment programs are tailored to each individual. Because of this, it will be a different experience for everyone. However, it generally involves a combination of detoxification, group and individual therapy, educational presentations, and aftercare planning in order to ensure long-term recovery. Upon arrival at The Detox Center of L.A., you can expect our professionally trained staff to create an individualized treatment plan based on your needs and treatment goals.