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Alcoholics Anonymous Support Groups

Seeking information about AA Suport Groups NJ? Get real facts about Alcoholics Anonymous NJ Meetings, at your local Alcohol Rehab Center in New Jersey

By We Level Up NJ Treatment Center | Editor Yamilla Francese | Clinically Reviewed By Lauren Barry, LMFT, MCAP, QS, Director of Quality Assurance | Editorial Policy | Research Policy | Last Updated: November 4, 2022

Alcoholics Anonymous Support Groups

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 qualifications.  Membership is open to anyone who desires to do something about their drinking problem.

To overcome addiction and effective relapse prevention, make sure never to skip your treatment programs. The 12-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, post-rehab therapy, and other rehab aftercare services after you undergo inpatient or outpatient treatment. But, on the other hand, never let your guard down;  thinking you are fully recovered can make it easy to go back to old obsessions and patterns  (which eventually lead to a relapse).

What Is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)?

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a global organization that was created to assist ex-drinkers in supporting one another while sustaining their sobriety. Dr. Bob Smith and Bill Wilson formed the organization in Akron, Ohio, in 1935. AA organizations can now be found in places all over the world and in the United States. All ethnicities, ages, and genders are welcome at meetings, as well as the loved ones of alcoholics in recovery.

Attendees of AA meetings make a commitment to give up alcohol abuse and maintain sobriety. The meetings provide numerous opportunities to help with ongoing recovery, including a successful 12-step program for treating alcoholism. The 12 AA traditions were created with the goal of stabilizing the program and preventing outside influences. The group is operated by ex-alcoholics who assist individuals who are currently in recovery since it is regarded as a mutual-aid fellowship.

What Happens During Typical Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings?

There are numerous formats available for A.A. meetings, and each meeting has a distinct local flavor. In the majority of meetings, participants will discuss the effects drinking has had on them and the people around them. Most also talk about how they stopped drinking and how they live their lives now.

What Is A Alcoholics Anonymous Intergroup?

Intergroups are service organizations that only address local needs (e.g., publishing a list of local AA meetings, responding to questions about AA, taking, setting up, and following up Twelfth Step calls, setting up local public information committees) and are not part of AA’s larger decision-making/service structure.

What Is The Meaning Of Alcoholics Anonymous?

Their main goals are to maintain their sobriety and support the sobriety of other alcoholics. More than 2 million people worldwide who are in recovery from alcoholism belong to AA, an informal group.

Since the book Alcoholics Anonymous first appeared in 1939, this introductory text has helped millions of individuals heal from alcoholism.

Currently available in the General Service Conference-approved Fourth Edition, the Big Book holds the stories of the co-founders and many members of distinct backgrounds who have encountered recovery in the worldwide Fellowship.

Relapse rates for substance use disorders (40 to 60 percent) are comparable to those for chronic diseases, such as diabetes (20 to 50 percent), hypertension (50 to 70 percent), and asthma (50 to 70 percent).  [1]  But individuals who take advantage of aftercare services experience lower relapse rates than people who do not participate in aftercare programs such as these A.A. meetings.

What Is The Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book?

Alcoholics Anonymous Book: The “Big Book,” or Alcoholics Anonymous, offers the A.A. program for beating alcoholism. The Big Book Of Alcoholics Anonymous was first published in 1939 with the intention of illuminating the recovery process of the first 100 members of A.A. The Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous is still regarded as A.A.’s fundamental book even after being translated into more than 70 languages.
The Big Book Of Alcoholics Anonymous was called The Big Book because it contains over 400 pages of recovery instructions.

The History Of Alcoholics Anonymous

AA was first created on the tenets of the Oxford Group, a self-help organization with a Christian foundation. Initially, creator Bill Wilson had little success encouraging those who were battling with drinking issues to become and stay sober. Wilson was advised to focus more on the scientific facets of alcoholism treatment than the spiritual components of recovery. Soon after, Wilson made a trip to Akron, Ohio, where he met Dr. Robert Smith, a guy who was having problems staying sober. Wilson assisted Smith for 30 days prior to his decision to stop drinking on June 10, 1935. This day has now been designated as AA’s global anniversary.

Dr. Smith and Wilson were employed at the Oxford Group for a while. However, their methods were frequently questioned. They founded AA in 1937 after leaving the Oxford Group. Dr. Smith and Wilson made numerous adjustments even though they preserved many aspects of the Oxford group, like holding casual gatherings, going through steps, and working without pay. Millions of individuals throughout the world are now aware of the organization as a successful support group thanks to the addition of AA steps, meetings, and sponsors.

The most effective rehab aftercare programs are personalized to the individual's needs and circumstances.  Rehab Aftercare programs may include 12-step Alcoholic Anonymous  programs and outpatient support.
The most effective rehab aftercare programs are personalized to the individual’s needs and circumstances.  Rehab Aftercare programs may include Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step programs and outpatient support.

Alcoholics Anonymous Support Groups Statistics

The biggest and most established alcohol support group in the world is called Alcoholics Anonymous. The group is committed to assisting its members in beating alcoholism.


2 million

AA today has more than 2 million members throughout 180 countries, as well as more than 118,000 organizations.

Source: Stanford Medicine

4.4%

Only 4.4% of alcoholics aged 12 and older received treatment in 2015.

Source: 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health

59%

Prior to beginning the program, 59% of AA members attended therapy or counseling.

Source: Alcoholics Anonymous


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Alcoholics Anonymous 12-Step Program

Twelve-step programs have been around for almost a century and are a familiar topic within recovery communities.  For example, the 12 Steps program for alcohol abuse is often used alongside formal behavioral therapy and medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

The 12 Steps were designed to encourage participants to achieve and maintain sobriety.  Generalized in the early 20th century with the formation of Alcohol Anonymous, the success of the steps program for alcohol addiction led to the creation of its virtually identical counterpart, Narcotics Anonymous.

Notwithstanding the substance at hand, the purpose of the Twelve Steps is to empower recovering alcoholics from being introspective and take responsibility for their actions.  In doing so, individuals can learn to identify the source of their alcoholism, and triggers, and ultimately, find lasting support in moving past it.

A.A.’s program extends beyond abstaining from alcohol. Its goal is to effect enough difference in the alcoholic’s thinking “to bring about recovery from alcoholism” through “an entire psychic change,” or spiritual awakening.  A spiritual awakening is intended to be achieved by taking the Twelve Steps, and sobriety is furthered by volunteering for A.A. and regular A.A. meeting attendance or contact with A.A. members.

Members are urged to find an experienced fellow alcoholic, called a “sponsor,” to help them recognize and follow the A.A. program.  The sponsor should preferably know all twelve steps, be the same sex as the sponsored person, and avoid imposing personal views on the sponsored person.  Following the helper therapy principle, sponsors in A.A. may benefit from their relationship with their charges, as “helping behaviors” are associated with increased abstinence and lower probabilities of binge drinking.

What Are The Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Steps?

Alcoholics Anonymous steps first begun in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Bob Smith. Learn popular AA 12 steps questions about the genesis of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous program. Find what are the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous below.

1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction—that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. We decided to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. We have admitted to God, ourselves, and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when doing so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and, when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
11. We sought 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.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in all our affairs.

Most Common Alcoholics Anonymous Support Groups FAQs

  1. What Is The Preamble For Alcoholics Anonymous?

    Alcoholics Anonymous preamble. The preamble makes sure that everyone who attends AA meetings is aware of what is expected of them.

  2. What Are Chips Alcoholics Anonymous?

    People in recovery are handed little, spherical coins called “AA chips” by their sponsors. They serve as a physical reminder to live each day as it comes and represent how long someone has been sober. Although the 12-Step Program does not require the usage of AA sobriety chips, doing so is a normal practice and part of the AA culture.

  3. What Is The Alcoholics Anonymous Prayer?

    “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.”

  4. Why Is The Alcoholics Anonymous Symbol A Triangle?

    The triangle represents AA’s Three Legacies of Recovery, Unity, and Service, while the circle represents the entirety of the AA universe. We have achieved liberation from our fatal fixation in our glorious new world. Perhaps it’s no accident that we chose this particular emblem.

  5. What Are The 12 Concepts Of Alcoholics Anonymous?

    The 12 concepts of Alcoholics Anonymous are:

    I. Final responsibility and ultimate authority for A.A. world services should always reside in the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship. 
    II. The General Service Conference of A.A. has become, for nearly every practical purpose, the active voice and the effective conscience of our whole society in its world affairs.
    III. To insure effective leadership, we should endow each element of A.A.—the Conference, the General Service Board and its service corporations, staffs, committees, and executives—with a traditional “Right of Decision.” 
    IV. At all responsible levels, we ought to maintain a traditional “Right of Participation,” allowing a voting representation in reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge. 
    V. Throughout our structure, a traditional “Right of Appeal” ought to prevail, so that minority opinion will be heard and personal grievances receive careful consideration. 
    VI. The Conference recognizes that the chief initiative and active responsibility in most world service matters should be exercised by the trustee members of the Conference acting as the General Service Board.
    VII. The Charter and Bylaws of the General Service Board are legal instruments, empowering the trustees to manage and conduct world service affairs. The Conference Charter is not a legal document; it relies upon tradition and the A.A. purse for final effectiveness.
    VIII. The trustees are the principal planners and administrators of over-all policy and finance. They have custodial oversight of the separately incorporated and constantly active services, exercising this through their ability to elect all the directors of these entities. 
    IX. Good service leadership at all levels is indispensable for our future functioning and safety. Primary world service leadership, once exercised by the founders, must necessarily be assumed by the trustees. 
    X. Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority, with the scope of such authority well defined. 
    XI. The trustees should always have the best possible committees, corporate service directors, executives, staffs, and consultants. Composition, qualifications, induction procedures, and rights and duties will always be matters of serious concern. 
    XII. The Conference shall observe the spirit of A.A. tradition, taking care that it never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power; that sufficient operating funds and reserve be its prudent financial principle; that it place none of its members in a position of unqualified authority over others; that it reach all important decisions by discussion, vote, and whenever possible, substantial unanimity; that its actions never be personally punitive nor an incitement to public controversy; that it never perform acts of government; that, like the Society it serves, it will always remain democratic in thought and action. 

  6. What Is The Alcoholics Anonymous Responsibility Statement?

    “I am responsible. When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there. And for that: I am responsible.”

  7. How Does Alcoholics Anonymous Help People Deal With Alcoholism?

    The average length of an AA meeting is an hour or an hour and a half. Following a few readings, participants take turns sharing their stories, resilience, and hope. After that, some individuals chat while others get meals. Some people choose to remain sober and clean up, while others discuss how to do so and lead fulfilling lives.

  8. Is Alcoholics Anonymous Religious?

    You don’t have to hold a particular belief to participate in Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. The majority of AA members are highly acceptable to atheists and agnostics.

  9. How Many People Are In Alcoholics Anonymous?

    In 2020, AA estimated that it had over two million members globally, with the majority living in the United States and Canada.

After undergoing the entire treatment program, it is important for our clients to adopt habits that will ensure continuing sobriety. This involves engaging in behaviors such as taking part in Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step groups, having time for prayers and meditation, and being attentive to self-care.
After undergoing the entire treatment program, it is important for our clients to adopt habits that will ensure continuing sobriety. This involves engaging in behaviors such as taking part in Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step groups, having time for prayers and meditation, and being attentive to self-care.

Alcoholics Anonymous NJ 12 Steps

A.A.’s Twelve Steps are a group of principles, spiritual in their nature, which, if followed as a way of life, can dismiss the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become joyfully and usefully whole.

The Organization Of Alcoholics Anonymous

Members of AA have overcome alcoholism and have the desire to help others control the organization rather than a leadership team. For AA and its more than two million members, this organizational model has been a huge success. Every year, AA adds additional chapters to its network; now, there are more than 100,000 organizations worldwide.

Each AA group is independently administered, and donations are used to pay for a variety of

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Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Traditions

A.A.’s Twelve Traditions refer to the life of the Fellowship itself.  They outline how A.A. preserves its unity and relates itself to the world through it, the way it lives and grows.

The 12 Traditions Are:

  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.
  2. There is but one ultimate authority for our group purpose —a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.  Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
  3. The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking/using.
  4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.
  5. Each group has one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
  6. An A.A. group ought never to endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
  7. Every AA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
  8. A.A. should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
  9. A.A. as such ought never to be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
  10. A.A. has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never to be drawn into public controversy.
  11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion;  we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.
  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

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Take Your Life Back With Alcoholics Anonymous

Don’t wait to begin if you’re interested in joining support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. Programs for aftercare therapy lower your chance of relapsing and provide excellent opportunities to interact with and gain support from others in recovery.

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12-Step Program At We Level Up New Jersey

At We Level Up New Jersey, we passionately believe that the best chances of success at alcoholism recovery are when clients are given the right tools.  But that is still only half of the battle; making those resources accessible and convenient plays a significant role in the possibility of proper recovery.  As such, we are pleased to offer our aftercare services and treatment programs (individual counseling, group therapy, and 12-step program meetings that are the same as Alcoholics Anonymous) at the same facility.  This means less headache and annoyance for our clients, who can spend more time focusing on getting better.

 If you or a loved one is dealing with an addiction to alcohol or other drugs, especially if you have experienced multiple relapses in the past, then look no further.  With an incredible success rate for long-term recovery, We Level Up Treatment Centers, including New Jersey We Level Up, offers one of the most comprehensive addiction recovery programs available in The United States, bringing hope to families every day.

We provide treatment services to all local communities including but not limited to New Jersey.  However, we also serve clients from around the United States who need the best drug and alcohol treatment options that best meet their needs. 

Our comprehensive program is an obvious choice, particularly for individuals who have experienced multiple relapses in the past.
Our comprehensive program is an obvious choice, particularly for individuals who have experienced multiple relapses in the past.

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Sources

Alcoholics Anonymous – www.aa.org

[1] EARLY INTERVENTION, TREATMENT, AND MANAGEMENT OF SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS – National Center for Biotechnology Information

Alcoholics Anonymous. (2001). Big Book Fourth Edition. October 2016. http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/alcoholics-anonymous

Suire JG and Bothwell RK. (2006). The psychosocial benefits of alcoholics anonymous. October 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Suire%20JG%5BAuthor%5D&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=16923673

McGreevey, Sue. (2012). AA benefits vary between sexes. October 2016. http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/12/aa-benefits-vary-between-sexes/

Orey, Breanne. Alcoholics Anonymous as a Vital Tool in the Treatment of Addicts. October 2016. http://escholarship.org/uc/item/88b2w26x#page-2

Lilienfield, Scott. Arkowitz, Hal. (2011.) Does Alcoholics Anonymous Work? Retrieved on March 13, 2014 https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-alcoholics-anonymous-work/

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction.