Alcoholism Support Groups
The most common mutual support groups are 12-Step groups. These groups emphasize total abstinence and embrace 12 core steps to overcoming addiction. Additionally, 12-Step groups urge alcoholics to take esponsibility for their actions, share personal experiences with group members, help other addicts and recognize a higher power. 12-Step groups also encourage family members and friends of the alcoholic to attend their own support group meetings in order to gain a deeper understanding of their loved one’s struggles. Often, 12-Step group participants become lifetime members.
There are many alcohol support groups, and each promotes recovery in distinctive ways. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), perhaps the most widely known alcohol addiction support group, is known for helping millions of
recovering alcoholics worldwide. Many groups, such as Al-Anon, are also available to support families and loved ones of alcoholics.
The core principles of 12-Step
prevalent alcohol addiction 12-Step program, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), has more than
100,000 groups worldwide and nearly 2 million members. AA does not charge dues
or ally themselves with any political, social or religious group. Members
are united by nothing but a common problem: alcohol. As with most 12-Step
programs, AA encourages recovery through sharing and support and offers
resources and meetings not only for alcoholics, but also for family members and
friends affected by addiction.
programs for alcohol addiction are based on the 12 steps developed by the
founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob. These 12 steps
are a set of guiding principles intended to lead members through the recovery
process. Though they can differ slightly from group to group, most
steps involve admitting there is an addiction; recognizing the strength of a
Higher Power; examining past wrongs and making amends for these wrongs; moving
on to live a new life with a new code of behavior; and helping others who also
suffer from addiction.
AA’s 12 Steps are:
admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become
- Came to
believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a
decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we
- Made a
searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a
list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would
injure them or others.
to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we
understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to
carry that out.
had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this
message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Al-Anon Family Groups
is an excellent resource for families and friends of alcoholics. Al-Anon and
Alateen, collectively known as Al-Anon Family Groups, is an international fellowship
of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experiences, strength and
hope in order to cope with the negative impact that alcohol addiction has made on
Al-Anon Family Groups help
families of alcoholics by practicing the Twelve Steps; welcoming and comforting
family members of the addicted person; and encouraging the alcoholic’s recovery
in a safe, understanding environment. Programs focus on spirituality but are
not tied to any particular religion. Whether
or not the addicted person continues treatment, Al-Anon can be hugely
beneficial for family members’ well-being.
part of Al-Anon, is the 12-Step program of recovery for young people (generally
aged 13 to 19) affected by another's drinking. Alateen groups are sponsored by
support after treatment is a vital element of recovery. For
information on how to get involved, please