Does Alcoholics Anonymous Work?: Scientific American


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do aa meetings work

Alcoholics Anonymous - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


** Alcoholics Anonymous **

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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AA meeting sign

*Alcoholics Anonymous* (*AA*) is an international mutual aid fellowship
founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith (Bill W. and Dr. Bob) in
Akron, Ohio. AA states that its "primary purpose is to stay sober and help
other alcoholics achieve sobriety".^[1]^[2]^[3] With other early members
Wilson and Smith developed AA's Twelve Step program of spiritual and
character development. AA's Twelve Traditions were introduced in 1946 to
help AA stabilize and grow. The Traditions recommend that members and
groups remain anonymous in public media, altruistically help other
alcoholics, including all who wish to stop drinking, and do not affiliate
AA with any other organization. The Traditions also recommend that AA
members acting on behalf of the fellowship steer clear of dogma, governing
hierarchies and involvement in public issues. Subsequent fellowships such
as Narcotics Anonymous have adopted and adapted the Twelve Steps and the
Twelve Traditions to their respective primary purposes.^[4]^[5]

AA has no opinion on the medical nature of alcoholism; nonetheless AA is
regarded, by many, as a proponent and popularizer of the disease theory of
alcoholism.^[4]^[6]^[7]^[8] AA is credited with helping many alcoholics
achieve and maintain sobriety.^[9] The American Psychiatric Association has
recommended sustained treatment in conjunction with AA's program, or
similar community resources, for chronic alcoholics unresponsive to brief
treatment.^[10] AA's data show that 36% are still attending AA a year after
their first meetings.^[11]^[12]

The first female member Florence Rankin joined AA in March 1937,^[13]^[14]
and the first non-Protestant member, a Roman Catholic, joined in 1939.^[15]
AA membership has since spread "across diverse cultures holding different
beliefs and values", including geopolitical areas resistant to


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