Alcoholic anonymous (AA) is an international fellowship of mutual help to recover from alcohol addiction.
Social integration has been reported to be a crucial substitution in the treatment for the effective recovery from alcoholic addiction. Mutual help is the best way to motivate a person, promote sobriety, and at the same time train social skills. Alcoholic Anonymous is a substitute measure used for the treatment of alcoholism. It is a mutual help fellowship. The organization was founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in Ohio. Bill Wilson and Bob Smith created AA’s Twelve Step program for individual development to recover from alcohol addiction.
Despite the initial Christian incline of AA there are also meetings for atheists and agnostics.
At the moment the organization is spread in 150 countries and includes about 87000 groups of mutual help. So far this fellowship is the biggest nonprofessional organization involved in the recovery of alcoholics.
The symbol of AA has a circle that encloses the triangle. The triangle symbolizes the three legacies of AA — Recovery, Unity, and Service.
The Twelve steps
Billy Wilson has created a list of twelve principles to help recover from alcohol addiction. In the book called Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism the author described the gradual way to recover from alcohol abuse. The book was published in 1939; since that time the twelve steps were adopted for various dependence-recovery programs.
The steps are:
- To admit the power of alcohol in the person’s life and inability to control his/her life by him/herself;
- To believe that there is the greater Power (God) that will help to restore the person’s individuality;
- To decide to turn the life to the care of God;
- To make a survey of own personality;
- To admit the similar nature of the wrong decisions made by a person and the others;
- To be ready that God will remove the defects of the person’s character;
- To ask God to remove the weak sides of the personality;
- To create a list of the persons who were harmed;
- To amend the situation regarding the relationships with these persons;
- To continue the survey of the personality and admit the mistakes in case there are some;
- To pray and meditate to understand God better;
- All of these steps should lead to the spiritual development.
The Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous
The philosophy of AA was a basis for the 12 traditions of AA which include the following statements:
- Every person is a significant part of the fellowship, although the common welfare is a priority;
- The main authority for AA is God;
- Every person who suffers from alcohol addiction may become the part of AA and it’s not possible to refuse a person who wishes to recover;
- Only the consciousness of the group is an authority;
- Every AA group has the only primary purpose – to spread the message among the alcoholics;
- The problems of money and properties should be divided from the main spiritual goals of AA;
- AA group is supported by its members voluntary fees;
- The people engaged in the AA activities should be professional, some alcoholics may be hired as well. However, usually, the activities in AA shouldn’t be paid.
- The fellowship should be organized properly and structurally;
- The members of AA may not be opposite to each other. It’s not possible to express the opinion on controversial issues;
- Anonymity is the core of the fellowship;
- The principles are the most spiritually significant part of the AA fellowship;
The disease concept of alcoholism
Thanks to the fellowship the disease concept of alcoholism was spread and popularized in the society. According to this concept, alcoholism is a chronic problem caused by the brain disease.