The 12 steps of Alcoholic Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous (AA/NA) have been the catalyst for many persons. In examining professional help verses self-help, many recovering persons will openly admit that it wasn’t AA/NA that got them sober; good drug and alcohol treatment deserves that credit. However, it was AA/NA that has kept them sober on an ongoing basis. In providing a brief history of Alcoholics Anonymous the first thing is to clarify that AA/NA is a fellowship of people with a common goal to stay sober and help others achieve sobriety. AA was founded in 1935. Two alcoholics who were committed to stop drinking and felt like helping others with the same problem established this fellowship of men and women. Soon after 1935, there were many AA groups established in different countries. Narcotics Anonymous stemmed off of AA to help those addicted to narcotics and other drugs. According to the AA website (www.alcoholics-anonymous.org) there are more than 100,000 groups and 2 million members worldwide. These AA/NA groups do not require membership fees as they are self-funded by voluntary contributions and the only requirement for membership is the desire to stop using. In other words, the one thing which unites these people from all walks of life is the strong desire to overcome substance dependency and stay clean and sober.
AA/NA meetings are held all around the world at places such as churches or private meetings facilities. What is really great about the 12 Step program is that all members are encouraged to be open and share their experience with others, but they don’t have to do that unless they want to. Of course, it is much harder for the new members. It is suggested to begin the program by finding a sponsor, someone who would be always ready to help them when experiencing a weak moment or just need some encouragement. The main idea of the AA/NA program is that all members can only take it one day at a time. Most recovering persons knows that the motto “one is too much and a thousand is never enough” is completely true. That’s why these fellowships actually work, because members work together to reach their goal – sobriety. It makes no difference what your profession is, how much money you have, how old you are or where you live.
At the Wedge Recovery Centers we have fully embraced the use of the 12 Step Tradition and it has been an integral part of the treatment approach in our substance abuse programs. In our effort to provide recovery-oriented services, the team at the Wedge respects the self-determination of its members, and encourages the use of 12 Step models along with other effective treatment approaches in substance abuse treatment.
Recovery is hard but precious. If you are addicted and get the proper support and have motivation, you do stand a good chance of remaining sober for the rest of your life. But you will have to change your lifestyle; you will have to learn to take one day at a time, one hour at a time, and one minute at a time. For further information and more details about the 12 Steps of AA you can visit www.alcoholics-anonymous.org