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Alcoholic Anonymous: Why It’s Essential Part Of Recovery Until Today?




One of the most indispensable aspects of rehab is participating in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. This is also seen as an important factor in the process of aftercare for those recovering from alcohol use disorder. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence reveals data reflecting several challenges that alcohol abusers and the society as a whole are faced with.

  • In the US, Alcoholism is now the 3rd leading cause of deaths that are related to lifestyle.
  • Every year, around 88,000 individuals die in America because of alcohol abuse.
  • Death from alcohol abuse on average cuts around 30 years off an individual’s life.
  • Up to 40% of available spaces in hospitals in the United States are being used every year for the treatment of the side effects of the use and abuse of alcohol.
  • It’s a well-known fact that Prohibition was a failed experiment.
  • Lasting only 13 years from 1920-1933, the re-legalization of alcohol use after Prohibition was repealed as the main contributor to our current problem of alcohol abuse.

In order to understand why participation in Alcoholics Anonymous is important in a rehab treatment, it’s helpful to note the history of Alcoholics Anonymous in brief. The AA has a unique story on its own and also one that is inspirational.

How Did Alcoholics Anonymous Start?

It was in the year 1935 that the stockbroker Bill Wilson just lost his job. Wilson was one of those personally ravaged by the Great Depression. On top of that, Wilson struggled with alcohol abuse. The New Yorker set out to Akron, Ohio in that year hoping that he would find success in his new venture, a rubber company. By this time, Wilson was also aiming to recover from alcohol abuse although he was still struggling.

Some 6 months before that, Wilson’s friend took him along to an Oxford Group meeting. The group is mainly participated by Episcopalians. A part of the organization’s commitments is to help members who are struggling to overcome alcohol abuse through spiritual means.

The agenda of the meeting was for the most part interesting for Wilson as it was inspired by world-renowned psychologist Carl Jung. The much-respected psychologist is also the father of analytic theory while Sigmund Freud is believed to be the father of psychoanalytic theory. One of Jung’s beliefs was that our spirit can heal most of the ills of the body, which includes addiction and alcohol abuse. At the time, this would have been considered as a radical type of thinking.

Why is Alcoholics Anonymous an Important Part of Recovery?

Even just a brief review of AA’s history will reflect, at the most basic level that it began with a focus on recovery. AA continues to embark on this mission today. It is especially significant to note that AA was founded by people whom the actual program is seeking to help today. Beyond the origins of the program, we shall discuss the reasons why AA is seen as an important aspect of the recovery process from alcohol abuse and addiction.

Clifford N. Lazarus, Ph.D. reveals in Psychology Today that one of the main reasons why AA is working on recovering patients is because it is based on principles similar to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Today, this is known as a research-based therapy used in many rehab centers for the treatment of addiction and abuse of various drugs.

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