New To AA? Here Are Answers To 11 Questions You May Have

An addiction of any kind can completely derail a person’s life, making him or her incapable of functioning properly in professional, personal or social settings. Relationships become strained, health deteriorates, jobs become harder to find and these people slowly turn into social outcasts. This is where support groups gain significance. By offering addicts a safe place to share their experiences and gain motivation from people who managed to turn their life around, these support systems play an integral role in helping addicts overcome their addiction.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is one such support system that has been transforming innumerable lives across the world by offering vital support, strength and hope to people struggling with alcohol addiction. Essentially a network of people who have gone through similar experiences, Alcoholics Anonymous is among the most popular support groups with an international presence.

If you are addicted to alcohol and have received suggestions to join Alcoholics Anonymous, you are sure to have a lot of questions about how this entire system works. In this post, we will explore some of the most frequently asked questions that new members may have about AA meeting in Maryland.

  1. What is Alcoholics Anonymous?

Founded in 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous is an international network dedicated to helping individuals overcome alcohol addiction and maintain sobriety. Members of AA have the common connection of being addicts or former addicts of alcoholism. During meetings, these people share their experiences of addiction and how life is different once they have conquered the addiction.

This non-profit organization arranges regular meetings and follows a well-designed program called the Twelve Steps that are essentially spiritual principles crafted to help members reflect on their activities and take responsibility for their actions.

  1. How can Alcoholics Anonymous help me?

Alcoholic addicts often find it hard to share their experiences with people who have no idea what struggling with addiction feels like. But the situation is different at Alcoholics Anonymous, where all members are going through similar experiences and struggles. This creates non-judgmental settings where members can safely share their feelings, insecurities, or fears. These sessions equip members with proven coping strategies to resist cravings for alcohol and stay sober on a long-term basis.

  1. Is Alcoholics Anonymous open only for religious people?

Although the program of Alcoholics Anonymous follows spiritual principles, it does not reflect any particular religion or belief system. The idea of a higher power presented in this program is open to interpretation, and members are free to link these principles to their religious beliefs. In fact, members can connect these principles to the universe, nature, mathematics, or anything that they find meaningful.

  1. How much do I need to pay to join Alcoholics Anonymous?

Joining Alcoholics Anonymous or attending its meetings does not incur any fees. This organization is a self-supporting one that thrives on voluntary contributions from members. Some groups may request members for small contributions to cover expenses of refreshments or snacks.

  1. How do I join an Alcoholics Anonymous group?

Visit the AA website or your local AA office to find AA groups or meetings in your area. Sometimes, these meetings are listed on community bulletin boards or in local newspapers. Your therapist or doctor may also be able to guide you to an AA group.

  1. What can I expect at an AA meeting?

Different AA groups have varying formats. But at the core, every meeting features sessions in which members share their experiences and hopes with each other. While some sessions focus on individual stories shared by members, others may involve group discussions. Remember that the experiences and information shared in every meeting are confidential.

  1. Do I have to speak at an AA meeting?

You may speak if you are comfortable doing so. If you do not want to speak, that is fine too. There are many members who attend AA meetings and listen to experiences shared by other members but never volunteer to speak. Sharing your story can, however, be highly beneficial in ensuring your recovery.

  1. Can I bring a family member or a friend to my AA meeting?

Generally, AA meetings welcome anyone – including friends or family members – who are struggling with alcohol addiction and wishes to overcome the addiction. But certain sessions may be open only for members. Check with the organizers in advance if a friend or family member will be accompanying you.

  1. Do I need to share my personal details in AA meetings?

There is no compulsion to share any personal details at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in Maryland. In fact, you need not reveal even your name if you are not comfortable doing so. Members are encouraged to share only those experiences that they are okay with sharing. Boundaries and anonymity are respected in these meetings.

  1. How often do I need to attend AA meetings?

There are no rules regarding how often you need to attend AA meetings. Regularly attending these meetings is, however, encouraged so that members stay motivated to keep away from alcohol. Ideally, it would be highly beneficial to attend meetings regularly, at least during the initial stages of the deaddiction process. Feel free to attend as many meetings as you feel necessary.

  1. Can I continue drinking while attending AA meetings?

AA meetings do not mandate refraining from alcohol consumption while attending meetings. Members can decide whether to continue drinking or not. However, most members choose to stop drinking once they join an AA group and start working the 12 traditions of AA. After all, the program has been created to help members attain and maintain sobriety.

Final word

To sum up, Alcoholics Anonymous can be an effective resource for people intent on overcoming alcohol addiction. AA programs empower members with coping strategies, a positive environment and supportive community. Admitting that you are an alcohol addict and need help is not easy. This is why AA members find it especially daunting to attend their first AA meeting in Maryland. However, once you take that first step, AA will help ensure that you are on your way to a sober and meaningful life.


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