Alcoholics Anonymous, usually abbreviated as AA, is a 12-step recovery program that has helped many people stop the use of alcohol. Basically, it is a meeting where people go and talk about their alcohol use and get support from others. Participants are usually told to accept a sponsor from the group. This is a person who has already successfully passed through the program. The person will act as a focus for support and will help the participant through the stages of the program. Their relationship helps both even if one may be further along in the program. AA assumes that healing is a constant process, not one that you finish after the 12th step.

So is it for you or not? We all know that there is stigmatization around addiction problems and AA itself has also been a victim of this stigmatization. Most of us thrill at the idea of even using it. Unfortunately, people make the judgment without really understanding the importance of it. Addiction is a disease and like most dis” eases” we need to maintain and take care of it. A disease is any condition that causes pain, dysfunction, distress, social problems, or death to the person afflicted, or similar problems for those in contact with the person. We all know that if we don’t take care of disease we may worsen.  For centuries people have self-medicated and used all kinds of methods to try and stop. Some of us have used 28-day rehabilitation or inpatient detoxifications. Some alcoholics stay in rehab for months and then go on to sober living facilities. They are all good ways and can work if you put your attention and heart into it. I guess the question is, what happens when we leave treatment or a facility. What happens when one is home and they need to maintain their problem?

Alcoholics Anonymous is a 12-step program that has been the only ongoing program that helps people cope with the same disease and maintain it for a person’s entire life. It maintains abstinence and gives continuous support through the good times and the bad. It has saved many people as a result. We realize that this disease can take lives and sometimes one rehabilitative stunt is not enough. AA allows one a place to get support. Meetings are all over the world and it is strictly confidential.

Ironically, like William Shakespeare’s Hamlet “to be or not to be”, it too was about the perils of life.  AA does not have to be the only program one may choose to utilize to help with perils in life, individual therapy with a supportive program can help one achieve lifelong abstinence.  If you or someone you know would like help treating addiction, just call Specialized Therapy Associates at 201-488-6678.