|Essay type:||Process essays|
|Categories:||Healthcare Substance abuse Behavior change|
Addiction support groups enable people with drug problems to receive help as they try to overcome their challenges. Support groups provide a platform where people can share their personal experiences. The groups can benefit anyone with any type of addiction. The groups are also beneficial to people with addiction and co-occurring mental issues such as anxiety and depression. Several programs help people with addiction overcome it, with the most common one being the 12-step program (Ranes et al., 2017). Alcoholics Anonymous is a support group organization that helps drug addicts get through their addiction problems. This paper will evaluate the Alcoholics Anonymous organization and the 12-step program to show how support groups can be helpful for individuals with substance abuse problems.
Alcoholics Anonymous is considered to be among the oldest support group organizations. It was established in 1935 by Dr. Bob Smith and Bill Wilson (Breuninger et al., 2020). It was developed to enable alcoholics to support each other during their recovery while upholding their soberness. The organization is based in Akron, Ohio, but it has spread over the years to various cities across the United States and globally (Breuninger et al., 2020). Alcoholics Anonymous is open to people of all races, gender, and age. It is also open to family members of people struggling with alcohol addiction. The organization uses the 12-step program designed to treat alcoholism. One has to be committed to ending their addiction for them to join the group. This program helps to stabilize the support group by preventing outside influence. The program is run by people who have recovered from alcoholism who aid those in the recovery process. The hours of operation are between 10 am to 4 pm from Monday to Friday. The organization's contact is (216)241-7387 (Breuninger et al., 2020). However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the offices are currently closed. The organization's address is 1557 St Clair Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio (Breuninger et al., 2020).
Requirements to Join the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-Step Recovery Program
Joining the program is free. The only requirement that is needed is for one to be willing to end their addiction to alcohol. The participants of the program are required to follow recovery steps to ensure they abstain from alcohol. To successfully go through the process, many people choose to use a sponsor to guide them. The program is also spiritual as participants are made to believe about the existence of a higher power. One must be an alcoholic to join the program and has the desire to stop drinking. Meetings are mostly held in public spaces such as schools and churches. There is no specific intake process to join the program. One gets screened, and a more comprehensive intake evaluation is done once it is decided that a person will become part of the program. The length of the program is 90 meetings in 90 days, and it is offered mostly to outpatients as it is often held in public spaces.
Access to the Program
Joining the Alcoholics Anonymous program is free, and all that is required from the person is the will to stop drinking alcohol. The organization is a fellowship of men and women who share their experiences to help them solve their common problems and have hope for the best. There are no fees or dues when joining Alcoholics Anonymous. Through its own contributions, the organization is self-supporting. The organization is also not allied to any political group, institution, denomination, or sect and works to avoid any controversies by not supporting or opposing any cause. The main goal of Alcoholics Anonymous is to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety (LaBelle & Edelstein, 2018). The organization does not have a waiting list, and anyone can join the support program at any moment.
How the Program is Run
The Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program is run by allowing the members to share their experiences with those with a drinking problem and are willing to stop drinking. The organization also provides sponsorship or what is referred to as a person to person services for alcoholics joining the program. The program is guided by the twelve steps of rehabilitation and enables individuals to have a satisfying life free of alcohol. The meetings are open to anyone who wishes to attend and are mostly “speaker meetings” where a group member will share their story on how it was like being an alcoholic and how they manage it (LaBelle & Edelstein, 2018). Most of the meetings are topic discussions where the meeting leader chooses a topic, and the other members share their experiences by taking turns. There are also beginner meetings to teach new members how the program is run. The program's desired outcomes are to help alcoholics have a sober life where they do not depend on alcohol.
There are several guidelines set by Alcoholics Anonymous to ensure that the meeting locations are accessible to everyone. First, the place should be physically convenient and allow anyone to arrive on the site and enter the building without problems. The parking should have an adequate number of parking spaces, and they should be close to entrances. The parking spaces should also have identification signs. The for-wheelchair access should be free from any debris, and the sidewalks should be in good shape. The location should also be accessible through public transport. The pathway should also be well lit for meetings that happen at night. In the building, an elevator should be in good working condition, and the corridors should be safe for everyone's passage. There should also be ramps to help those in wheelchairs to access the meeting.
Benefits of the Alcoholics Anonymous Program
From my research, it would be beneficial for anyone to access the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program as the organization is well managed. The program is also accessible as it is free for everyone, and the only requirement is the will to stop taking alcohol. One of the significant benefits of the program is that most of the members of the program appear to have achieved the goal of being sober. The meetings are also beneficial as people get to share their experiences and how they are managing their alcoholism, making one realize that they are not alone in the recovery process (LaBelle & Edelstein, 2018). The program also provides a sponsor to help the person in the recovery journey, ensuring that they attain sobriety. The group leader allows everyone to participate freely in the meetings, making them successful. Another benefit of the program is that it allows family members of the alcohol addicts to attend and show their support. There is no judgment in the program, as everyone attending the meetings is seeking recovery. The organization is dedicated to maintaining anonymity. The attendees are not allowed to share what happens in the sessions from people outside the program.
How to Prepare a Person to Attend the Alcoholics Anonymous Program
As a practitioner, it is necessary to prepare a person before joining the Alcoholics Anonymous program to ensure they continue attending the program after the first meeting. It will help them overcome their alcohol addiction program and have a sober life. One of the best ways to prepare them is by ensuring they are ready to share their experiences with alcohol, as this will make them feel accepted in the group (Ranes et al., 2017). It is also wise to make them realize that they will not be judged for being alcoholics as everyone in the group is seeking recovery from addiction. Another way to prepare a person before joining the program is to make them realize the benefits of being in the program. One should also ensure that the person is willing to be sober and end their drinking problem.
Breuninger, M. M., Grosso, J. A., Hunter, W., & Dolan, S. L. (2020). Treatment of alcohol use disorder: Integration of Alcoholics Anonymous and cognitive behavioral therapy. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 14(1), 19.
LaBelle, O. P., & Edelstein, R. S. (2018). Gratitude, insecure attachment, and positive outcomes among 12-step recovery program participants. Addiction Research & Theory, 26(2), 123-132.
Ranes, B., Johnson, R., Nelson, L., & Slaymaker, V. (2017). The role of spirituality in treatment outcomes following a residential 12-Step program. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 35(1), 16-33.
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