Alcoholics Anonymous, best known as simply AA, is one of the most well known treatment and recovery programs for alcoholism. This helped countless numbers of people to beat their alcohol addiction and there are more than 100,000 registered groups and 2 million members worldwide. The program utilizes the, now famous, 12 step program to guide people through the recovery from alcoholism. These steps involve admitting the problem, asking for help from a higher power, apologizing for past mistakes, finding someone to and continuing to remain sober. Membership is anonymous and confidential, but members are not bound to follow these guidelines. As with all treatment and recovery programs, the effectiveness of AA is hard to accurately ascertain.
Who founded Alcoholics Anonymous?
On June 10, 1935, Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith founded Alcoholics Anonymous in Ohio. They were both alcoholics who were desperate to remain sober and decided to create a group with simple steps to help people like them. They began meeting in a room at Dr. Bob’s house and soon there were groups in New York and Cleveland. In 1939 they released a book for the group, referred to as The Big Book, and began publishing articles in the local newspapers. Membership grew rapidly and the two founders began sending other successful participants in the program to create new groups. By 1950, there were over 100,000 people that had successfully completed the Alcoholics Anonymous program. Both Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith remained sober for the rest of their lives.