Alcoholics Anonymous: Facts About the Support Group

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

The recovery from alcoholism may be marked by struggle and obstacles, and no matter what your background, maintaining sobriety will be a lifelong choice. While professional treatment is often necessary to break the destructive patterns and behaviors that are part of alcoholism, support is always necessary at every point of the recovery journey.

Whether you are beginning the process of recovering from alcoholism or if you have several years of sobriety under your belt, staying connected to a support system is a vital part of maintaining abstinence.

The Founding of Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous is a twelve-step program support group that was introduced in 1935 with the purpose of helping alcoholics “stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety”1. Alcoholics Anonymous was created to be an international fellowship that brings together men and women who have struggled with alcoholism, irrespective of age, socioeconomic background, race, gender or education.

Open to any person who desires to overcome an addiction to alcoholism, Alcoholic Anonymous supports the recovery from alcoholism through the Twelve Steps, or Twelve Traditions. The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous serve as guiding principles, which are spiritual by nature, and intended to help the sufferer overcome their addiction and live productively.

The Success Rate of Alcoholics Anonymous

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 45 percent of addicts that attended self-help groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, were less likely to fall back into a pattern of using or abusing drugs or alcohol in the past 30 days2. Staying connected to a support system through a self-help group can be an instrumental part of maintaining sobriety for the long term.

If you or a loved one needs support and is looking for help in overcoming your addiction, consider joining an Alcoholic Anonymous support group. Support groups are held worldwide, and you can find an Alcoholics Anonymous support group nearest you by searching on the website.

Finding a Network of Support

Remember that though this journey may be arduous and more difficult that you imagined, there is a network of support available in the addiction community. Be sure to reach out for the help you need.

If you are in need of professional resources for recovery from Alcoholism, visit the Alcohol section of Addiction Hope to find more information and support.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What has been your experience with Alcoholics Anonymous? How has this support group helped your recovery and sobriety?


  1. Alcoholics Anonymous,, Accessed 20 April 2015
  2. Participation in Self-help Groups for Alcohol and Illicit Drug Use: 2006 and 2007, Accessed 20 April 2015

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on May 1st, 2015
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