Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a self-help fellowship  that was founded by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in  1935 to help people struggling with alcoholism.

 Definitions

 Addiction is a chronic disease of the brain which involves compulsive and uncontrolled  pursuit of reward or relief with substance use or other compulsive behaviors.

 Alcoholism is a general term for the compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcohol  to the detriment of the drinker’s health, relationships, and social standing.

 Self-help fellowship is a community in which individuals struggling with the same problem (e.g., alcoholism) help one another. It is also known as a mutual aid fellowship.

 Temperance movement was a national crusade that encouraged total abstinence from alcohol.

 Twelve Steps refer to the 12 guiding principles on which AA is based.

 Twelve-Step Programs are self-help groups whose members attempt recovery from various addictions based on a plan called the Twelve Steps.

 Twelve Traditions are the rules that govern how Twelve-Step Program groups operate.

 Description

Alcoholics Anonymous is a mutual aid fellowship intended to help people with alcohol problems. AA is the first of many Twelve-Step Programs based on it. AA developed from an early 20th-century temperance movement called the Oxford Group.

Members believed that alcoholism was a spiritual illness rather  than the result of a weak will. They proposed a spiritual program that involved accepting a higher power and helping others. Many of these practices were carried over to AA.

AA members assist one another through sharing personal experiences, offering guidance, and  sponsorship. This generally takes place during attendance at AA meetings, which may focus on member’s stories, the Twelve Steps, or some other topic  

 

The AA fellowship is nonprofessional and does not employ doctors, counselors, or any other type of trained helper. A main principle of AA is that an alcoholic is best suited to understand and help another

alcoholic. AA is not considered to be formal  treatment but rather an additional method of support.

 

AA groups operate independently from one another, though there is a small governing body based in NewYork. The organization does not take part in political,religious, or any other kind of debate. This is toprotect its stated primary purpose of helping alcoholics achieve sobriety. AA claims that its current membership is nearly 2 million people worldwide. There are AA meetings in many different countries and those which cater to specific genders, age groups,and sexual orientations. 

The core of AA is the Twelve Steps and Twelve   Traditions. These have remained unchanged since their  original format. The Twelve Steps focus on the process  of addiction recovery. They include tasks such as admitting  powerlessness, completing a moral inventory, making amends to those who were harmed, and helping  other alcoholics. For example, 

Step 1 is “We admitted  we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become  unmanageable.”

 The ultimate goal of the Twelve Steps is to achieve a spiritual awakening which will help the alcoholic remain sober. The Twelve Traditions  focus on AA’s organizational principles. They include maintaining anonymity in the press, staying out of public  debates, and declining outside financial contributions. 

Both the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions  are found in Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism.

 This text is popularly called the “Big Book” by AA members. It is frequently read during AA meetings and contains chapters devoted to employers, unbelievers, and the family members of alcoholics.

 Bill Wilson (1895–1971) was a founding member  of AA. Born in East Dorset, Vermont, Wilson was a shy man who struggled with depression and anxiety throughout his young adult years. He served in the military during World War I and enrolled in law school on his return home. To deal with his increasing social anxiety in law school, Wilson drank excessively. The result was being dismissed from law school for drunkenness.

After that he worked as a stock speculator and traveled the country with his wife, Lois. His drinking continued to worsen, resulting in financial failure and numerous hospitalizations at Towns Hospital in New York.

It was during one of these hospitalizations that he was reacquainted with Ebby Thatcher (1896–1966), an old friend who had stopped drinking with the help of the Oxford Group.  

Wilson continued to drink until he had what he described as a “spiritual experience” during another hospitalization. He reported that he saw a bright light and felt the presence of God. Wilson never drank again after this event. He joined the Oxford Group and helped another alcoholic, Dr. Bob Smith (1879–1950), during a business trip to Akron, Ohio, in 1935. The two began helping other alcoholics and promoting a spiritual program of recovery. They eventually split from the Oxford Group and started their own fellowship with the publication of Alcoholics Anonymous. Wilson was the primary author of this book, which contained the original Twelve Steps.

Bill Wilson continued to develop the AA program throughout his lifetime and remained a central figure in the movement.

Here I had given small introduction about AA .If you want to know more let me know.

 

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