How It Works for Addiction Professionals and their Clients

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1 How It Works for Addiction Professionals and their Clients

2 Scientific Method vs. Anonymity Stigma of Alcoholism Relative to Anonymity Ernie Kurtz A Reverence for History Stigma is why Alcoholics Anonymous works Acceptance that we are an essentially limited, vulnerable human being, and there is something that other people can do naturally that I cannot, drink alcohol safely. Interview October 22, Admission of Powerlessness Higher Power Ready, Willing and Able to Recover

3 Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking

4 There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. (Emphasis Added) Copyright The A.A. Grapevine, Inc.; reprinted with permission

5 Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities. Anonymity has two attributes essential to our individual and collective survival; the spiritual and the practical. A.A. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

6 Spiritual Level Anonymity demands the greatest discipline of which we are capable. Practical Level Provides protection for the newcomer, respect and support of the outside world, and security from those of us who would use A.A. for sick and selfish purposes. A.A. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, P. 187

7 The A.A. program is spiritual, not religious. The spiritual experience is basic to our sobriety, with out it our sobriety will be precarious Acceptance of a Higher Power is paramount to success for each member. God, as you understand him.

8 Step One: 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol- that our lives had become unmanageable. Admission of Complete Defeat by Alcohol Acceptance of This Illness! Become FIRM BEDROCK on which happy and purposeful lives may be built!

9 2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. o Step 1 reduced us to state of absolute hopelessness (if worked completely). o Step 2 tells us that A.A. does not DEMAND you believe anything. Steps are suggestions. o Work steps slowly, piecemeal. o Emphasis on OPEN MIND.

10 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood him. o Effectiveness of the whole A.A. program will rest upon this decision. o The more we become willing to depend on a Higher Power the more independent we actually are! o Gift of Desperation leads to willingness o At End of Step 3 Begin to learn how to use self-will effectively

11 The Twelve Steps Continue 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. 7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. 10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. 11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that our. 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

12 Meetings seven days a week Free Coffee, Sometimes Snacks Celebrate milestones in sobriety Treats them with respect. Ability to participate as they desire. Share or Just Listen New Friends with Common Bond Someone to Call When Struggling One-on-one guidance/support Sponsorship

13 The Heart of the Program Based on A.A. literature Open Meetings Open to anyone who has an interest in A.A. Individual may or may not identify themselves Family Members & Professionals ARE Welcome Closed Meetings Open only to A.A. members or prospective A.A. members (desire to stop drinking) Most meetings are non-smoking although a few allow smoking

14 Speaker Meeting An A.A. member shares his/her story What life was like before What changed What life is like now Usually Open Meetings Most anonymous meeting format Good for newcomers

15 Discussion Meetings Choose a Topic (Group Decision or Chair (rotating) Each participant offered opportunity to share, or pass ( I ll just listen ) Topics cover the broad spectrum of A.A. related topics Study Meetings Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous) Twelve and Twelve (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions) Other A.A. approved literature

16 Group conscience dictates meeting format and either open or closed A Home Group is where a member attends most AND does service work in the beginning STILL, no membership rosters, dues or fees. May share contact info with other home group members for planning purposes (who s making coffee, setting up, etc.) Who we see here, stays here, but what we hear here we can share, anonymously

17 Available through Available through Local Districts also have websites Meeting Frequency District 12 (Burke, Caldwell, Catawba Counties) 83 Meetings Each Week (9:30 AM 8:00 PM Seven Days) 5 Open Speaker Meetings 26 Open Discussion Meetings 11 Open Study Meetings 26 Closed Discussion Meetings 3 Closed Study Meetings 6 Hispanic Meetings 5 Meetings in Correctional Facilities 1 Meeting in a Treatment Facility (Broughton Hospital)

18 Asheville Intergroup Meetings By County.htm

19 Special Occasions A.A. meetings celebrate milestones in recovery Founders Day/Unity Day Celebration - June Workshops on service work Covered Dish Meal Speaker Meeting Alcathon New Years Eve Meetings every hour for 24 hours Covered Dish Meal Dancing Speaker Meeting

20 Solicit members policy of attraction rather than promotion Offer medical or psychological diagnoses Provide detox, nursing, hospitalization Promote specific treatment programs/facilities Sponsor research Take Attendance Provide Case Histories Offer religious services Engage in education about alcohol other than published A.A. materials Provide money, food, clothing, housing, jobs, welfare or social services Provide domestic or vocational counseling Accept money for its services or outside contributions Provide letters of reference to parole boards, lawyers, courts, social agencies Meeting attendance report at discretion of each group

21 To Help the Alcoholic Stop Drinking To Help the Alcoholic Lead a Healthy, Productive Life A.A. s Policy of Cooperation, but not Affiliation A.A. can be a source of personal experience with alcoholism as an ongoing support system for recovering alcoholics

22 Contact your local coordinator for Cooperation with the Professional Community, or the Area 51 CPC. Subscribe to About A.A., the FREE A.A. newsletter for helping professionals Or other A.A. materials Contact for more info:

23 The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. A.A. cannot instill this desire in anyone. Only the individual, many times with the help of a professional counselor, can develop this desire. Once the desire is there, A.A. can offer the things we have talked about here today. Let s work together.

24 Pamphlets: If You Are a Professional This is A.A. Frequently Asked Questions About A.A. Is A.A. For You? A.A. for the Woman To Young? (for teenagers) A Newcomer Asks A.A. For the Black and African American Alcoholic A.A. For the Older Alcoholic, Never Too Late A Member s Eye View of A.A. Do You Think You Are Different? Periodicals About A.A. (Newsletter for Helping Professionals The A.A. Grapevine (the international monthly journal of A.A. Books Alcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book) Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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