Types Of AA Meetings: A Guide To The Different Group Options For Recovery

It operates primarily on contributions from its members and does not accept external funding to maintain autonomy and preserve its primary purpose of helping individuals achieve and maintain sobriety. The Twelve Traditions were introduced in 1946, guiding AA’s structure and unity. They emphasize anonymity, humility, and group cohesion, ensuring AA’s continued effectiveness and longevity in helping individuals with alcohol use disorder. AA members, often referred to simply as “members,” are individuals from various walks of life who have acknowledged their alcohol use disorder and are committed to quitting drinking.

They say we are a composite of the people we spend the most time with and this goes double for recovery. Once everyone who wants to share is finished, the meeting wraps up with another group prayer. The effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in achieving sobriety has been a subject of study and discussion over the years. Still, due to its anonymous and voluntary nature, AA’s success cannot be measured with exact statistics.

Where Meetings Happen

Also, if you share about your story when asked to lead you don’t have to share anything that you’re not comfortable speaking about. All autobiography is subjective, and chances are if you landed in Alcoholics Anonymous you’ll have many interesting life experiences related to your drinking to share about. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are voluntary meetings 5 types of alcoholics for people who identify as alcoholics (closed meetings) or people that are interested in alcoholism (open meetings). These meetings usually follow a similar format and last for 60 minutes. Group consists of a core of voluntary members and different meetings take on different flavors. However, each group is committed to the anonymity of A.A.

Remember that while AA has been instrumental in helping numerous individuals achieve sobriety, it’s important to note that it may not be equally effective for everyone. Following his hospital discharge, Wilson joined the Oxford Group and tried to recruit other alcoholics to the group. These early efforts to help others kept him sober, but were ineffective in getting anyone else to join the group and get sober.

Our Facilities

You do not need to be unable to attend an in-person meeting to participate in an online AA meeting. NIAAA’s study also revealed that the highest success rate was for people who participated in formal treatment and AA. Each AA program has guidelines for who counts as a member, and meetings are usually closed unless otherwise stated.

We do not impose our experience with problem drinking on others, but we do share it when we are asked to do so. We know our own sobriety depends on connecting with other alcoholics. Other studies have analyzed the effectiveness of peer support, in general, during substance use recovery and found that it contributed to a variety of improved outcomes. Outcomes were also improved for individuals with co-occurring substance use and mental health issues. Once you’ve gotten up to speed on how to talk about AA and 12-step meetings at a high level, you’ll need to learn how to interpret the things people say in the meetings. Usually, a 12-step meeting consists of the group listening to a series of individuals talk about their progress or their past.

Phone, Video, or Live-Chat Support

Meetings and each meeting takes on the feel of their local area. At most meetings you will hear members talk about what drinking did to them and to those around them. Most also share what actions they took to stop drinking and how they are living their lives today. Some group formats ask the leader to read from AA literature and share in context; others leave the topic to the leader’s discretion. Discussion meetings tend to lie somewhere along a spectrum of “anything goes” to solution-oriented. If you’ve found a weekly meeting you really connect with, it might be a good idea to at least start with that commitment.

It’s common at closed meetings for everybody to introduce themselves in turn, and identify as an alcoholic in turn. If you cannot identify as alcoholic you may be asked to find a different meeting. One good reason for closed meetings is that members feel safer talking about some issues if the meeting is not open to non-alcoholics.

The Big Book, the Twelve Steps, and the Twelve Traditions

Alcoholics Anonymous encourages meeting attendees to “take what you can use and leave the rest.” Anyone who wants to change their behavior towards alcohol is encouraged to have an open mind and try a meeting. BetterHelp can connect you to an addiction and mental health counselor. Meetings are typically listed as “open” or “closed” meetings. Our Meetings last approximately one to one and a half hour.

The format is to read out of the book, then whoever wants to share can. Like Big Book studies, these meetings are a great way to gain insight into others’ understanding of Alcoholics Anonymous and how they apply the program to their lives. People from all walks of life attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, which are informal gatherings held worldwide. As long as they’re in an open AA meeting, attendees don’t need to self-identify as alcoholics.

Substance Addiction Resources

AA meetings are gatherings where recovery from alcoholism is discussed. One perspective sees them as “quasi-ritualized therapeutic sessions run by and for, alcoholics”.[59] There are a variety of meeting types some of which are listed below. At some point during the meeting a basket is passed around for voluntary donations. AA’s 7th tradition requires that groups be self-supporting, “declining outside contributions”.[14] Weekly meetings are listed in local AA directories in print, online and in apps. Beginners’ meetings are specifically designed for individuals who are new to AA or early in their recovery journey.

types of alcoholics anonymous meetings

Offline meetings, also called “face to face”, “brick and mortar”, or “in-person” meetings, are held in a shared physical real-world location. Some meetings are hybrid meetings, where people can meet in a specified physical location, but people can also join the meeting virtually. A.A.’s primary purpose is to help alcoholics to achieve sobriety. By Buddy T

Buddy T is a writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. Because he is a member of a support group that stresses the importance of anonymity at the public level, he does not use his photograph or his real name on this website. Fortunately, there are many different types of meetings for people from different backgrounds or with similar situations.