The Traditions of AA

When it comes to battling addiction, no one does it better than AA. Even though Alcoholics Anonymous deals with alcohol-related problems, they have reached out to embrace all forms of addiction. Their motto has become legendary and is often referred to as a AA 12-step program to assist people who are struggling with an addiction.

While their 12-step system was first introduced back in 1950, the core values still hold true to this day. It is for this reason that so many people find success with AA. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that drinking too much can cause memory problems, concentration issues, coma, and even death. These issues are what AA hopes to defeat when people start the 12-step system.

But overcoming an addiction like alcohol or other substances takes time and a strong support system. That is why they are the first line of an offense when someone has a substance abuse problem.

What are the 12-Steps of AA?

While AA offers 12 ‘traditions’ there are only four that are essentials for struggling with an addiction. These primary four steps are the core of AA.

Step one is merely the ability to recognize and determine boundaries. The first step is to help people put in place new rules and a new lifestyle. The idea is that the common welfare of the individual and the group comes first. This simply means that when a user is out and about away from the group, they can better understand their ‘triggers’ and have the ability to step away from the situation. step one helps people to realize that their emotions are important and that it is okay to feel a certain way as long as it is not disruptive or negatively impacts themselves or others.

Step two acknowledges that there is a higher power in their lives. The belief system is put in place because hope is the only thing that cannot die. If a person truly wants to get better, they need that hope to cling to. The belief that God or a creator is in control and can bring them out of their current situation.

Step three is the desire to stop abusing alcohol or any other substance. It doesn’t help to go to meetings and seek help for addiction if one is not willing to put their foot down and make a change. AA strictly states that the desire to stop drinking is their only membership requirement. It doesn’t matter if the person has slip-ups, it matters if they are willing to keep trying and holding on to the hope that things will be better.

Step four is all about keeping quiet. It is like the rules in Fight Club, “You do not talk about Fight Club.” So it goes with members who go to meetings. Everything one says during those meets is confidential. The only exception is if someone plans to hurt someone else or themselves. Then, authorities are brought in to defuse the situation.

The Other Steps

The other steps that are including in AA, all boils down to three primary statements. First, members must understand that the group is a closed meeting. Nothing from the outside world is allowed to be discussed. This includes politics, propaganda, or soliciting. These steps are 8, 9, 10, and 12.

The second important statement is that there are no leaders in the group. Everyone who attends is treated fairly and unbiased. While there may be someone there to help move things along, there isn’t a single person that claims they are ‘in charge’. AA is an organization that tries to keep everyone on equal ground. The steps that encompass this statement come from 5, 8, 9, and 11.

The final statement is the fact that AA does not allow outside endorsements or contributions. This means that outside influences are kept at bay and that the group relies solely on one another. You can find more in steps 6, 7, and 12.

Final Thoughts

AA offers excellent help when it comes to addiction. Because they restrict outside influences and provide a “safe place” for anyone dealing with alcoholism and drug abuse. If you or a loved is battling with addiction, AA should be one of the first places to seek help.

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