Alcoholic Anonymous or AA is an international fellowship program that exists to help recovering addicts maintain their sobriety through continued peer-to-peer support. When you join AA or participate in its meetings, no membership dues or other fees are required. Although AA meetings don’t take the place of formal, structured addiction treatment, these meetings are among some of the most reliable, accessible, and effective forms of support that recovering alcoholics can find. Best of all, there is absolutely no limit on the number of AA meetings that you can attend, and many recovering alcoholics continue going to meetings all throughout their lifetimes.
If you plan on making AA meetings a key part of your ongoing support plan, you may be wondering exactly how many meetings you should attend each week. During the earliest stages of recovery, the more support you receive, the easier it will be to stay the course. Some AA participants go to meetings several times a day, every day. Others attend just two to three times weekly. Each person’s level of participation should be determined on an individual basis. Moreover, as people progress in their recoveries, they may find themselves needing increasingly less support. After you’ve been sober for five years or more, you might attend these meeting just once each week, or even just twice each month. How you leverage this important resource is entirely up to you.
Going to AA Meetings While Living in a Sober Home
There are certain instances in which a mandatory number of weekly AA meetings might be assigned. For instance, if you plan on taking up residence in a sober living facility after you exit inpatient addiction treatment, the house rules of this facility could require twice weekly AA meeting attendance or more. Once you move into your own living space and are no longer subject to the rules of a sober living facility, you can decide if going to AA meetings two times or more each week is right for you.
Beating Back Temptation With AA Meetings
Alcoholic Anonymous takes a spiritual approach to encouraging self-responsibility. However, one of the greatest benefits of taking part in this program is the level of camaraderie it provides. Recovering addicts have the opportunity to meet, socialize with, and tell their stories to people who share the same challenges, hopes, and fears. Throughout the first year of alcohol addiction recovery, this camaraderie can be incredibly important. AA meetings are a safe space that you can easily turn to when you feel overwhelmed by temptations and cravings, and when other support resources have proven too costly or otherwise too difficult to access. Many people make a point of attending AA meetings during the times that they were once most likely to drink.
For instance, if you have a long history of spending your Friday nights or weekend afternoons patronizing local bars, these are both great times to attend AA meetings. Regularly attending meetings on Friday nights and throughout the weekend will help you beat temptation, recondition your habits, and limit your likelihood of relapse. As you gradually resume your life post-treatment, you can participate in meetings whenever you’re facing any significant social, personal, or financial challenges. These meetings will give you the motivation and fortitude that you need for overcoming these and other stressors, for redirecting your energy, and for leveraging your newfound and far healthier coping strategies.
Deciding to Join AA
Anyone can drop into an AA meeting at any time. Whether you’ve officially joined the program or simply sit in, you can listen to others talk about their struggles with alcoholism, and you can talk about your own battles. You’ll also learn the basic tenets of the 12-step program that AA members use, and can even take advantage of free 12-step literature and other helpful resources. However, some meeting attendees choose to make a higher level of commitment.
When doing so, they opt to align themselves with sober sponsors who keep them accountable long-term for maintaining continued abstinence and ongoing meeting attendance. If you have not yet attended formal addiction treatment and are still looking for a rehab program that can help you stop drinking, you also have the option of attending a treatment center that uses the 12-step recovery model. This is an excellent introduction to AA, its values, and its long-term support services. If you want to become a part of Alcoholics Anonymous or simply need help in finding AA meetings in your area, get in touch with us today by calling 772-934-6580.