Locally-based support groups are often key in helping a recovering alcoholic remain sober. The best-known alcohol support group is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), a self-help group with local meetings in thousands of communities throughout the UK and worldwide. Attendance of AA meetings is often a requirement of a residential rehab clinic and is an important part of aftercare. AA is also open to those who wish to stop drinking but have not participated in a formal rehabilitation programme.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other with the purpose of staying sober and helping other alcoholics achieve sobriety. The only prerequisite for membership is a want to stop drinking.
Alcoholics Anonymous is not affiliated to any one religion. All faiths are represented, and atheists and agnostics are welcome. AA is also not allied to any political persuasion, organisation or institution. Those with drinking problems will find themselves among a wide range of ages, cultures and backgrounds. Membership to AA is free. There is no pressure to talk if you don’t wish to and anonymity is rigorously protected.
Alcoholism affects not only the alcoholic but can impact the entire family. Resentment, anger and frustration can arise and relationships may break down. Someone’s drinking can affect you financially, they may turn violent, they may make you think that you’re the problem behind their alcohol misuse. Families need support during this difficult time and we recommend a local-based self-help group such as Al-Anon. Al-Anon family groups hold regular meetings where members share their experiences of living with alcoholism, and give each other understanding, strength and hope.