You’ve probably heard of Alcoholics Anonymous if you’ve had alcohol issues or know someone who has.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a self-proclaimed ‘alcoholics’ (those with a kind of alcohol use disorder) who seek to attain sobriety.
However, many individuals believe that Alcoholics Anonymous is a cult. Perhaps this is due to the ‘anonymous’ character of the meetings, or the fact that outsiders don’t know much about what happens in the meetings. Or is it due of the religious undertones?
This is what we’ll look at on this page: is Alcoholics Anonymous a cult? Continue reading to discover more about the organization, including what to anticipate at AA meetings, how to locate meetings, and if AA can be classified as a cult.
What is Alcohol Addiction?
Alcoholism is a kind of alcohol use disorder. Medical professionals avoid using terminology like ‘alcoholic‘ or ‘alcoholism’ since they are deemed unhelpful and might stigmatize persons suffering from addiction.
Instead, the phrases “alcohol addiction,” “alcohol dependence,” and “alcohol abuse” are all grouped together under the umbrella term “alcohol use disorder.”
Alcohol use disorder (often known as simply AUD) refers to a number of disorders, the most serious of which are alcohol dependence/addiction. It varies in intensity and is diagnosed and classified as mild, moderate, or severe.
AUD may have an impact on many aspects of your life, including your relationships, money, work, well-being and mental health, and, of course, your physical health.
It may impact your organs like as your heart, brain, liver, and pancreas, which is why it is classified as both a mental and physical condition.
It is a recurrent and chronic brain condition that affects millions of individuals. In 2019, about 14 million individuals in the United Kingdom have AUD.
It is distinguished by a lack of self-control while drinking or drinking despite unfavorable effects. This might include being unable or trying to manage how much you drink, how often you drink, when you begin or end drinking.
Many persons with alcohol use disorder may join groups to obtain support and share their experiences, which can be beneficial. Alcoholics Anonymous is a popular support organization in the UK; continue reading to discover more.
What is Alcoholics Anonymous?
Alcoholics Anonymous is a group of individuals who attend AA meetings on a regular basis to discuss and resolve their alcohol-related issues. It is a tremendously popular organization with over two million members worldwide.
The fellowship was created in 1935 and is a 12-step program aimed to assist persons suffering from alcoholism.
It provides a secure and ‘anonymous’ area for individuals to discuss their experiences with other members who are dealing with similar issues, eventually encouraging a life free of alcohol.
There are no age or academic requirements for attending or becoming a member of AA, and there is no payment to join or become a member.
AA membership is open to everyone who wishes to obtain a better knowledge of and control over their destructive drinking habits, with the ultimate objective of reaching sobriety.
The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous are a series of principles that members should strive to follow – basically, a way of life that may help reduce the temptation to drink.
They are often mentioned in Alcoholic Anonymous: The Big Book – The Story of How Over One Hundred Men Have Recovered From Alcoholism, which was published in 1939, soon after the organization was established.
The book features experiences written by the co-founders from a diverse variety of people who owe their recovery to AA.
Now that you have a basic knowledge of what AA is, it’s time to learn about what occurs in meetings – and what AA members do or say in meetings.
What To Expect From AA Meetings
Attending a group gathering for the first time may be intimidating and stressful, but it’s much worse if you don’t know what to anticipate. If you’re not clear what happens at the meetings, you may be hesitant to join, particularly if you already believe AA is a cult.
Although some members choose to share their tales in front of everyone, it is not required. That being said, if you feel like sharing your experience or ideas, please do so.
individuals feel that AA is a secure place for individuals from all walks of life to discuss their alcohol-related experiences, and many recovering addicts take solace in knowing that they aren’t alone in their drinking issues.
You may get the impression that AA is religious. Although there are many allusions to spirituality, AA professes to be a spiritual organization rather than a religious one. Any references to ‘God’ merely refer to a higher force, which is not always a Christian God.
You don’t have to be religious to attend AA; all you need is a desire to quit drinking or acquire control over your alcohol usage.
You don’t even have to be a ‘alcoholic’ to attend meetings; as an AA member, you’ll be welcomed into an AA program.
Although it is not part of the AA program, some members opt to meet with one another after the meeting has ended.
This may be a terrific way to meet other individuals in recovery and provide and receive support throughout the recovery journey.
Meeting with other sober folks, whether for coffee or for meals, may be beneficial. After all, you don’t have to go out drinking to have a good time.
What is a Cult?
The Manson Family (Charles Manson), The People’s Temple (Jim Jones/Jonestown), Heaven’s Gate, and the Sullivanians are only a few examples of cults with a bad reputation that have led to suicides, killings, or severe misery.
Talk about The Manson Family and Charles Manson. Charles Manson gathered a group of young people and welcomed them into his family back in the 1960s. Drug use and sexual activity were the group’s main pastimes.
But Manson also preached his followers to go on a murderous rampage and conveyed his views that there will be a race war.
Five people were killed by members of the Manson Family in 1969 in Los Angeles, California, including actress Sharon Tate, who was seven months pregnant at the time. Manson was found guilty of first-degree murder after several of the group’s members were subsequently put in jail.
What do these groups share, except their distress? They are a cult, but why? What’s more, is Alcoholics Anonymous a cult? Continue reading to discover out.
To put it simply, a cult is a structured organization that uses psychological manipulation or coercion, or a mix of the two, to establish control over its members.
A common feature of most cults is the presence of one or two prominent leaders who serve as a barrier between the adherents and the outside world.
Many times, cult members are unaware that they are in a cult because they believe their membership would benefit them. Nevertheless, those who attempt to quit the cult are often coerced or tricked into staying.
The phrase “brainwashing” is often used in discussions concerning cults, usually referring to the leaders’ deceptive methods.
It helps to draw members of the cult in because the leaders are often charming and appealing. Ex-cult members, however, often claim to have seen a more sinister or even violent side of the cult leader or leaders.
In the past, organizations that worshiped a god were referred to as “cults.” Some individuals draw a comparison between AA and cults since AA was formed on a religious foundation. Find out whether AA is a cult by reading on.
So, Is AA a Cult?
Simply said, AA is not a cult. Recovering from alcoholism and living a clean life is the main goal of AA, despite the fact that some members take their meetings quite seriously.
There is no official leader in AA; the founders and meeting facilitators are the only ones with this authority. Cults are known for their unwavering and unconditional loyalty to their leader. Members of Alcoholics Anonymous also have free choice and are not coerced or taught what to do.
A common cult mindset is “us vs them,” isolating followers from the outside world. AA can assist in the rehabilitation and reintegration of those struggling with alcoholism back into society.
As opposed to cults, AA doesn’t seem to want to isolate its members from society. Similar to this, cults and immoral behavior often coexist, but AA emphasizes sobriety and healing.
However, since some AA members believe that The Big Book and Alcoholics Anonymous are the only effective treatments for alcoholism, some individuals do criticize the organization.
Members of Alcoholics Anonymous may help one another through the isolating nature of addiction. On the other hand, some members could go too far and claim that quitting would cause a relapse.
In conclusion, while certain AA members may exhibit cult-like traits, the organization is not cult-like. But this is limited to a very small number, and neither the founders nor the organization leaders support it.
Since the organization encourages candid conversation, members are free to publicly question AA’s teachings during sessions without fear of reprisal.
If you’re thinking of joining Alcoholics Anonymous, we advise you to approach the program with an open mind and to leave any preconceived notions about it behind if you want to make the most of it.
How Do You Find an AA Meeting?
There are so many AA meetings around the nation that it might be daunting to choose the one that’s perfect for you.
That being said, your primary care physician, mental health specialists, or your doctor should be able to guide you to the nearest AA group if you speak with them.
You may find useful information on the AA website to assist you in selecting the program that is best for you. You may locate the next group that is occurring nearby and is free for you to attend by just entering your postcode or intergroup, time, and day.
Alcoholics Anonymous gatherings fall into two categories: open meetings and private meetings.
All are welcome to attend open meetings, including family members, friends, and others who are just curious about AA.
Closed sessions are just for those who struggle with alcoholism; attendance is only intended for individuals who wish to quit drinking and get help.
We at onlineukpills are also capable of locating the ideal course of therapy for you. We can take the time to listen to your needs, preferences, and story in order to identify the best location for you to receive addiction treatment, whether you’re searching for an aftercare program (such as AA, counseling, or group therapy) or a rehab program that combines drug rehab, alcohol detox, and addiction therapy.
If you’re searching for a drug addiction alternative to AA meetings, consider Narcotics Anonymous (also known as NA or UKNA).
While it has a framework comparable to AA, its main objective is to overcome drug addiction, such as cocaine or prescription medicine addiction.
What Other Support Is Out There?
There are many recovery alternatives available than AA. When it comes to alcohol addiction, you’re not alone, and you can get assistance.
There are many of support groups available for those recovering from alcohol addiction or alcohol use disorder if AA isn’t the right fit for you. The following are only a few of the most well-liked support groups for alcohol:
You may learn to manage your thoughts and impulses by using Recovery International, a cognitive behavior method.
LifeRing is a free, secular social support organization.
A 600-location organization called SMART Recovery offers workshops to assist those in recovery in regaining motivation and controlling cravings while promoting resilience and self-improvement.
An organization called Moderation Management (MM) helps everyone who has alcohol-related problems, not only heavy drinkers. It emphasizes moderation and responsible drinking rather than alcohol abstinence.
Why not check out Women for Sobriety, Inc. if you’re a woman who would rather join a women-based support group?
In order to improve their resilience, wellbeing, and comprehension of their addiction, some persons seek treatment and counseling. Some people get therapy as a component of a more comprehensive treatment plan, such as alcohol rehab.
Many alcoholics prefer to go to rehab in order to learn how to manage their drinking or lead an alcohol-free lifestyle. As a kind of secondary therapy or aftercare, many then attend group meetings like AA after they have successfully completed rehab.
We have connections to alcohol treatment facilities around the nation, and we can identify the rehab facility closest to you. In order to help people with addiction get the best rehab treatment, onlineukpills was developed by a former addict who required therapy to save his life.
Numerous forms of rehabilitation exist, including NHS-operated rehabilitation, outpatient, independent/private, inpatient, and residential rehab.
In order to assist you in selecting the option that will work best for you, we may take the time to learn about your situation and narrative.
Detoxification is the initial step in every rehab program, whether it be for alcohol or drugs, however the procedure varies from facility to clinic.
The goal of detoxification is to address the physical, as opposed to the social, behavioral, or psychological, components of addiction.
Its goal is to rid your body of the drug, which in the case of alcohol rehab is alcohol. This implies that alcohol will not be available to you.
Since alcohol is prohibited in recovery facilities, many individuals choose to undergo an inpatient alcohol detox. This eliminates temptation. Craving control may also benefit from this.
Some patients get detox medication to lessen the symptoms of withdrawal during a medically supervised or medically assisted detox.
When detoxing from alcohol, withdrawal symptoms may be uncomfortable, and the intensity of the symptoms frequently corresponds with the depth of the addiction.
But other characteristics, including your weight or height, may also play a role. Although the symptoms of withdrawal will eventually go away, most individuals choose to go through a 14- or 28-day detox.
Alcohol Rehab Therapy
After completing alcohol detoxification and gaining control over your withdrawal symptoms, you may proceed to the subsequent phase of alcohol rehabilitation, which is addiction treatment. Therapy is not just for those who already have mental health issues; it may also be very helpful in treating drug and alcohol addiction.
In alcohol rehab, a wide range of therapeutic options are offered. While various centers may provide varying treatments, the majority will provide a minimum of two of the following:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Interpersonal therapy
- One-to-one counselling
- Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT)
Different forms of rehabilitation, such as holistic therapies, may be offered by private rehab facilities. Sports therapy, art therapy, and mindfulness/meditation are a few examples of holistic treatments.
In addition to helping you get a better understanding of your addiction, therapy seeks to increase your resilience and self-assurance.
Understanding your triggers and any underlying reasons of your addiction may be achieved with the support of therapy. An essential first step in addiction treatment is understanding your addiction and yourself.
Secondary Treatment for Addiction
Your real healing journey starts after your treatment is done. Reentering “everyday” life after treatment may be difficult, and temptations will undoubtedly arise. This is the reason getting assistance is crucial to your recuperation.
Secondary therapy attempts to keep you clean by reducing relapses and facilitating an easier transition from alcohol recovery back to your regular life.
You may get assistance along your road toward addiction recovery from aftercare or secondary therapy.
In addition to standard support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, alternative aftercare options include group therapy, counseling, and other types of treatment.
Get in touch with our committed staff right now to discover the top secondary treatment options for drug misuse in your community as well as the finest rehab programs for you.