The label “Alcoholics Anonymous” evokes a certain stigma that most people new to sobriety are not comfortable with. The idea of going to a meeting where someone might see you is uncomfortable in early sobriety. Even admitting that you’re an alcoholic can take time to get used to.
Alcoholics Anonymous is Anonymous
Alcoholics Anonymous is intended to be just that – anonymous. Group members are on a first name basis and the atmosphere is generally friendly, warm and casual. You’ll often hear members say that the most important person at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting is the newcomer and for this reason, newcomers are strongly encouraged to introduce themselves so other members can offer support. Individuals share topics at a group level that are relevant to staying sober and they rely on each other for support to do so. What is shared at meetings is understood to stay at meetings and the anonymity of group members is strongly enforced. Discussion of other group members and their problems is discouraged.
Alcoholics Anonymous offers Support
While there are many critics of Alcoholics Anonymous , the program has offered the most successful form of recovery from alcoholism. It offers a social model program of change through the use of role models and peer support. New members secure “sponsors” who are other members with time in sobriety that help them work through the 12-steps upon which the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous were founded.