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Does AA really help

Discussion in 'Questions About Treatment' started by kevinkimers, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. kevinkimers

    kevinkimers Community Champion

    Here where I live, I know of people who were ordered by the court to attend AA meetings because of their drug use. My question is, does AA really help those who have not gone through a drug/alcohol treatment program first, and does it really help people with drugs when AA is Alcoholics Anonymous? The reason I ask, I have gone to several of these meetings with friends as support. They were not only boring and unhelpful in my eyes, most of the people there were ordered by the court to be there and not willing. I can see AA as being a good support if you have already gone through or in the middle of treatment, but as the main treatment itself??? Any thoughts?
  2. cameronpalte

    cameronpalte Active Contributor

    Do you have any information on this I haven't heard about Alcoholics Anonymous before?
  3. kevinkimers

    kevinkimers Community Champion

    No problem, here is a link to their website.

    Alcoholics Anonymous

    "Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem." About AA page
  4. SuphaflyUK

    SuphaflyUK Member

    I've been in AA for 4 years now and will say this on the matter. It can absolutely work for some people, but not all. Most of the people I know well in AA are solid members with years of sobriety. Quite a lot of them have not touched a drink since they came into the rooms. Others, like me, have relapsed dozens of times but have always returned to the fellowship and have always been welcomed back.

    A common saying is "it works if you work it" - the AA 12 step program that is. This seems to be true for a great number of people. Regular meetings (daily), step work, helping a newcomer / sponsorship. If you put in even a fraction of the effort you did to get a drink, into recovery, then you stand a good chance.

    Some people hate it and think its too preachy, religious and cult like. I have not found this to be the case in my fellowship. Try a meeting, if you dont like it try a different one. If, after a month you still dont like it then leave. Alternative methods work for people - local rehab groups which are non AA suit others better.
  5. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    Yes, AA works. Many people have been successful with this method, but like anything else, it is not for everyone. A big factor in any program is how much the individual wants to succeed. If you want to succeed, you have the best chance and it will likely work well for you. If not, then it isn't the right program for you, and you just need to find the one that is.
  6. AFKATafcar

    AFKATafcar Community Champion

    I would say that it works for most people, although obviously no single program works for everyone. If you're willing to put in the effort and believe in the program, then AA can work wonders for you. Others that try just as hard at the program won't see the same results, though. In some cases, individuals need another alternative in order to deal with alcoholism and related issues. It's not for every single person.
  7. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    AA will work for someone who willingly seeks help. Those who are ordered by the court to attend AA meetings probably don't think they have a drinking problem and won't try to quit. You have to do what the court says but deep down you are not interested in staying sober. It's like a cartoon I once saw where one father yelled at his son to sit down. The boy complied but the caption tells what he was thinking, "You may have made me sit down, but I'm still standing in my mind."

    So much as attending AA meetings and following their 12 step programs can help someone beat an addiction. But only IF they make a commitment to fight the problem.
  8. Profit5500

    Profit5500 Senior Contributor

    I do not know much about being involved in AA meetings. I just never really had to deal with the meetings since I do not have a addiction. The thing is that people who are addicted have to make a commitment but the addiction is too strong. Just have to make that effort in order to break away from the drugs.
  9. geegee

    geegee Active Contributor

    I think it depends. I do believe that it is more ideal for some to undergo in-treatment first, especially for those who are not willing to let go of their bad habits first. For others though, they know the problem and are determined to change. I think AA alone can be effective for those people. My friend's met a lot of people in AA who are doing well. He's only started attending but it's been good for him so far.
  10. OhioTom76

    OhioTom76 Senior Contributor

    I would strongly suggest watching Penn & Teller's segment on AA for some eye opening statistics on the organization itself and what it's evolved into, as well as their true success rates as shown through their internal documents. There is a reason they don't advertise them publicly...



    I would have to respectfully disagree that if anyone "puts in the effort" with AA that it will work for them. First of all that's kind of a vague statement - what exactly is the right amount of effort? Secondly if the program doesn't work for them, the program simply doesn't work for them - it's not purely a matter of them not putting in enough effort, it just may simply be ineffective for that person from the get go. That's like saying if you keep digging a hole in the ground in the same spot you will eventually strike oil.

    I personally found the meetings ineffective, and had better success getting lost in some work projects to take my mind off of it for a bit, or taking up some other hobbies I enjoy. I would much rather do that than sit in a room with 20 depressed people craving their next drink.
  11. kyliexo

    kyliexo Member

    They say it works if you work it.

    I know many people that use AA and have had success. With that said, I don't think the program would work for everyone. The only way to use the program is 100% percent sobriety, so if you relapse you're starting over from zero. This makes it hard for some people because it feels like they aren't getting anywhere.
  12. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    I don't think it matters if you're addicted to drugs or alcohol - we all have the same problem. The 12 step program isn't necessarily for everyone. On the other hand, I do consider the way I chose to apply the steps to my life a big part of why I've been in recovery from a nasty heroin addiction for more than 6 years. I found there were more people with significant clean/sober time at AA meetings vs. NA meetings in my area, so I just went to those. It was kind of a trial and error situation until I found out which meetings (on what day and time - at what location) attracted the kind of people I felt I could learn from and connect with. If that makes sense.
  13. jackslivi

    jackslivi Active Contributor

    I think that AA really does help people whether you are on drugs or not. I think it makes you really want to support the addicts because it really opens your eyes to how people are dealing with their addiction. I think that everyone should go whether or not they are on drugs at least once. I had to go a couple times for my college and at first I thought no way. Now I am glad I did because it has really helped me to see that this people need support. Everyone does with any kind of drug. No matter what, they don't judge you because they have been in your shoes. I think AA is an amazing process for not just the addict but also the supporters.
  14. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    It's a hit or miss with AA meetings and treatments. Like stated earlier it is a court mandated treatment. Some people go into to it, not wanting to be there. So they do what is necessary to fulfill the court mandated AA meetings, and when those hours are met, they disappear to the nearest pub. Now if you were self admitted, then that means you wanted to be there, and the chances of successfully cleaning up gets better.
  15. StillFighting

    StillFighting Member

    I personally know two recovering alcoholics who completely depend on AA meetings to continue to stay sober, and I think they help for different reasons. The first friend has the need to stay busy all the time. If he gets bored, he starts to drink. Staying active in AA meetings just about every day of the week helps him. The second friend benefits from AA meetings because of the accountability and because it helps him to be around people who understand him and his addiction. He also goes to meetings on a daily basis. If an alcoholic is in a meeting surrounded by nondrinking people who won't drink around him or pressure him to drink, the chances of succeeding are that much better than being around bad influences. I would be bored in an AA meeting as well, but it's not meant for a nondrinker like me. On the other hand, I might find great interest in Al-Anon or group designed for those living with alcoholics.
  16. NikkiDesrosiers

    NikkiDesrosiers Senior Contributor

    I have had several family members use the AA system to help resolve and control their ongoing battles with alcoholism. It is an amazing and supportive program for those who are willing to give themselves over to it and really put the work in to try and change their lives.
  17. Twinsmommy31

    Twinsmommy31 Active Contributor

    I think AA is beneficial. It gives people a chance to be open and honest about their struggles with alcohol. Their is a support structure that can help when a person feels weak. It lays it all out in the open. Its a step by step process and that leave you very accountable.
  18. Nikkishea21

    Nikkishea21 Active Contributor

    In cases where persons are forced to be there it may not come across as being serious, i really think this is the case. In instances such as these as soon as the period of probation is lifted these individuals often finds themselves in the same dilemma which resulted in them needing help in the first place. Until individuals see the need to take responsibility for the things they do, then the change will not be readily realized.
  19. Kamarsun1

    Kamarsun1 Active Contributor

    I agree if you are not willing to got but your forced to go, then you probably won't get much out of AA. It can help but it all depends on the person. Some people think they don't have a good enough reason to quit. We all have reasons to quit, but it all comes down to will power.
  20. leahcim132

    leahcim132 Member

    I think most people has said this already but it really depends on the person. In my opinion, if you devote enough time going to the AA meetings, it will definitely help.

    The first thing to do break any addiction such as drugs and alcohol is to break the habit all together. When you force yourself to be distracted/busy, your brain will start to lose connections with the addiction and with enough time your brain/body won't rely on it.