What is AA?
Alcoholics Anonymous or “AA” has been around for over 80 years and is a community of men and women who join to work through their drinking problems. It is a support group that is non-political, multiracial, self-supporting, non-professional and is available almost anywhere. It is open to anyone who would like to work on recovering from their drinking problem.
What does AA do?
- Participants in AA share their story and personal experience and help support others with their drinking problem
- Helps a person learn how to live a happy life without alcohol
- They give person-to-person “sponsorship” to the alcoholic coming to AA
- Offers open discussion meetings, open speaker meetings, closed discussion groups and/or step meetings
What does AA NOT do?
- Solicit members
- Follow up with members to see how they’re doing
- Engage in education about alcohol
- Provide detox or other medical services
- Engage in sponsor research
- Force someone to stop drinking
- Offer religious services
- Provide letters of reference
- Provide housing, food, clothing, jobs or any other welfare services
The Book of 12 Steps
In order to successfully achieve and remain sobriety, a person must complete the process of the Book of 12 Steps. Many of the steps refer to God or a higher power, but they do not refer to one specific faith or religion. Although, they go in a sequence they are intended to be used ongoing during a person’s life in recovery. Ideally, these steps are taken with the help of your sponsor (someone who has gone thorough AA) who supports you during your recovery journey.
There are many rules and stories that are described in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous that discuss the different steps involved in recovery. Rule 62 in recovery refers to the rule of “don’t take yourself too damn seriously.” It doesn’t always occur to someone in recovery that they are able to enjoy life again or be happy without drinking alcohol. When they look around, they see other people enjoying themselves without drugs or alcohol, but they still can’t quite wrap their head around the idea that they can enjoy it too.
The main take away from Rule 62 to is to see your life as lighthearted, fun and enjoyable. It’s important to be able to laugh at yourself and enjoy the little things. It can be difficult to understand at first, but people eventually get there.
History of Rule 62
The history of AA reveals that a group of Hinderlands convinced people in the local town to fund a program for recovery/AA/treatment. The intention was to have an elaborate space where people in AA could receive medical help, residential recovery and AA support group meetings.
The group who started it all decided that there needed to be rules and regulations involved in the AA recovery process, and they wanted input from everyone involved. Naturally, not everyone agreed on everything, which in turn caused them to send their 61 rules to the NY offices of AA. The people who volunteered at NY didn’t have any idea how to run a facility like this or what to say about the rules that they had come up with. While discussing this, the last rule of “don’t take your life too damn seriously” arose which was due to the fact that they felt that there was no reason to have ego-driven opinions that may break the group apart.
Alcohol Use Disorder
Addition to alcohol can be described as the misuse of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs that cause short-term or long-term health consequences. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. SAMHSA’s 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (PDF | 1.6 MB) reports that approximately 20.3 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder in the past year.”
Excessive alcohol use can cause risky or dangerous behavior from the person such as driving under the influence. The Center for Disease Control reported that approximately 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that have an alcohol impaired driver daily.
Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder
There are some symptoms or warning signs associated with alcohol use disorder. You may have alcohol use disorder if you experience these symptoms:
- Trying to cut back on your drinking habits but are unable to
- Spend a lot of time drinking, being sick or hungover
- Thinking about alcohol constantly that it effects your daily life
- Drinking more or for longer periods of time than intended
- Continuous drinking despite the negative consequences associated with it
- Needing to drink more and more to achieve the same effects
- Quitting other activities that were important to you in order to drink
- Withdrawal symptoms such as seizures, sweating, nausea, racing heart, restlessness, shakiness, trouble sleeping, or seeing, hearing or feelings that aren’t there
- Having problems with school, work, friends or family
It’s important to get help as soon as possible if you have any of the symptoms listed above. There is help at Experience Recovery.
Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment
Located in Southern California, Experience Recovery is dedicated to the treatment of addiction. We are a privately held company with a staff of over 150 years of combined experience. Our continuum of care begins with an assessment for the level of care a potential client needs. Experience Recovery offers medically-assisted detoxification, residential, day treatment, intensive outpatient, outpatient, aftercare, transitional living, family programming and alumni. Experience Recovery is proud to be a trauma informed treatment facility with the designation from Seeking Safety. In addition, our outcomes are real, and used in our clinical decision making for each client. We are FIT outcome trained and are also a FIT outcomes training facility. Plainly, this means that we incorporate the feedback of each client into their episode of treatment. This allows us to monitor and predict if our clients our trending towards a positive or negative outcome. We incorporate the use of Feedback Informed Treatment at all levels of care.
Experience Recovery provides a full spectrum of care to those who struggle with addiction. Our approach is backed by science, informed by proven data, and personalized to meet the needs of each client. All treatments are administered by multi-disciplined professionals with compassion and experience.