How did Alcoholics Anonymous get started?
AA was founded by Bill Wilson and his physician, Doctor Bob Smith in 1935 and eventually grew to include two more groups by 1939. That same year, Wilson published Alcoholics Anonymous, a text which explained its philosophy and methods. The book explained the 12 Steps of recovery. The only requirements to get membership with AA is having a desire to quit drinking, and it is not associated with any organization, sect, politics, denomination, or institution. Those attending AA make a commitment to join voluntarily, as a continuation of therapy.
12 steps of AA:
The Twelve Steps are a set of guiding principles in addiction treatment that outline a course of action for tackling problems including alcoholism, drug addiction and compulsion.
Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Step 11: 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.
Step 12: Having 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.
In Step One: What Does it Mean to “Admit Powerlessness?”
Admitting powerlessness is not the same as admitting weakness. It means asking for help, leaning on others and relying on your support system. It means admitting—and accepting—that you’re living with a disease that alters your brain. It enables a person to seek help.
Structure of the Meeting:
A sponsor is an AA or NA member who has had successful experience with the program and works personally with a member with less experience
12-Step Programs for Family:
Other Mutual-Help Programs: