AA, Find a Meeting Near Me

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Finding an AA meeting near you.

Most addiction treatment centres in the UK use the world-renowned 12-step approach. The 12 steps were pioneered by the alcoholics' anonymous groups (AA). The AA meetings involve a group of members who complete the 12 steps of recovery.  


The members complete these steps with the help of a sponsor. Also, AA members can revisit the steps at any point or work on them multiple times. Read on to learn how to search and find an AA meeting near you. 

Alcohol addiction is a medical condition that alters brain chemistry resulting in behavioural issues. On its own, alcohol is a causal factor contributing to more than 60 medical conditions. It is possible to enjoy alcohol responsibly.  [1]. 

Alcohol use can lead one on the slippery slope to addiction. When you drink frequently, you are likely to develop an alcohol problem. 

Alcohol addiction treatment is the best approach for those who realise that they are battling alcoholism. Typically, alcohol treatment entails detox to deal with the withdrawal symptoms. 

After detox, the next phase is engaging in various therapies that seek to help you maintain sobriety. 

Studies cite that group support in aa meetings leads to positive outcomes. For example, a study by John F Kelly, Alexandra Abry, and others showed that aa is better than other well-established treatments in facilitating continuous abstinence and remission [2].  

The study also found that the AA meetings were as effective as other well-established treatments at lowering alcohol consumption and other consequences of alcohol addiction. 

Alcohol addiction treatment 

Alcohol addiction, alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder is a serious condition when one becomes dependent on alcohol. 

It occurs when you drink alcohol excessively to the point that the body cannot function without it. It is hard for any addicted individual to stop drinking on their own.  

Anyone who tries to quit cold turkey risks relapsing because the symptoms of withdrawal are painful. 

Addiction treatment goes beyond helping you quit drinking. Treatment helps you overcome the physical cravings to drink and the psychological consequences of addiction. Different treatments can help you stay sober.  

However, you cannot pick just any treatment as addiction is unique to each individual. Different treatment options include seeking detox at a hospital, outpatient care, or inpatient services.  

Finding the right treatment requires consulting your GP to help you pick a treatment option that suits your needs.

Alternatively, you can reach out to your rehab of choice and talk to a certified addiction specialist about the best treatment option available. 

AA meetings 

Alcoholics anonymous world services is an international self-supporting fellowship that's found in 180 countries. This organization is responsible for the fellowship meetings affiliated in their name.  

Most people who are having trouble with drinking or drugs join the free aa meetings. 

There are two main types of aa meetings. 

a).  Open meeting.  

Anyone can join AA's open meetings as they are available to alcoholics who desire to quit. Non-alcoholics can attend this meeting to observe. 

b). Closed meetings. 

 These meetings are for aa members only. 

Both meetings are suitable for those struggling with drug use or alcohol addiction. A chairperson may request the participants only to discuss recovering from drinking or other addictions in both meetings. 

You can join an aa meeting from anywhere in the world by accessing a meeting online. 

AA membership is free, and you can join by typing your postcode on the 'Find a Meeting' page on the alcoholics' anonymous webpage [3].

Alcoholics anonymous permits people struggling with addiction to start their aa meetings. You can start one if you can't find a meeting in your location.  

However, there are key factors that the group must consider, such as [4]: 

  1. The group must consist of all who suffer from alcoholism. Membership to the group must never depend on money or conformity. Also, those who come together to form the group must have no other affiliations. 

  1. Each aa group is responsible to its authority when it comes to its matters. However, if the group wants to make a decision that will affect other individual groups, they must consult that group or groups that will be affected. No group, regional committee, or individual should decide that will greatly affect the AA without conferring with the trustees at the general service office. 

The details on other factors you should consider can be found on the AA meetings webpage [4]. In most cases, there may be no need to start a new meeting as aa meetings greatly occur across the UK.

You can join other alcoholics on the path to recovery by finding a meeting tool on the AA webpage. You can also use this tool to find a local helpline telephone number. 

You can contact AA either by email, phone, or using their chat box. You can also search online to see all currently registered online meetings if you want to attend the meetings online. 

You can find a meeting if you are located in Central Devon and Exeter. 

Just search aa meetings Exeter to find a meeting near you. In addition to this, there is the online aa intergroup meetings directory that helps you look at the various groups available to find one suitable for you. 

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Drug addiction  

The 12 steps programme created by alcoholics anonymous is an effective recovery support tool for different types of addictions.

The rehab industry is familiar with the 12-steps and offers it as one of the support tools available for people with addictions. 

Alcoholics anonymous or aa alcohol focuses on helping those struggling with alcohol dependence.

The aa talks focuson surrender and willingness, which means that you surrender to the higher power and express willingness to follow the path of recovery.  

You can listen or download AA talks online from the AA site or the AA Speakers free app [5]. These talks help encourage and impart hope to those who wish to overcome addiction. 

People struggling with drug addiction can join the narcotics anonymous (NA). Unfortunately, NA is not as popular as AA. As such, it may be hard to find physical meetings in distant locations.

You can contact NA to find a face-to-face meeting or online meeting. 

Research suggests that attending AA meetings for drug abuse can be as effective as attending NA meetings. The study conducted by John F Kelly and colleagues showed that young adults who entered AA but had drug abuse problems were likely to complete the 12-steps process successfully.  

Simply put, you can attend AA for drugs.  

The study showed that since a majority of addicts struggle with drug abuse also have a record of heavy drinking, attending an aa meeting worked. 

Alcoholics anonymous world services 

Alcoholics Anonymous began in 1935 in Akron, Ohio. It began with two alcoholics, Bob Smith and Bill Wilson, who were both struggling alcoholics. Since then, Alcoholics anonymous services have expanded across the globe. 

The international structure of the alcoholics anonymous consists of a general service office located in New York City. This office connects with 62 other general service offices across the globe.

The offices provide assistance and addiction resource materials that carry the message of 12-steps and rehabilitation to fellowships worldwide. 

One of the resources made available is the aa grapevine. The grapevine is an online magazine that contains stories of inspiration recovered persons.

The organization does provide audios, newsletters, magazines, and other reading materials to impart hope to those trying to get a sober life. 

You can access more information or details about the alcoholics anonymous grapevine from their site.

Those in the UK can get in touch with the general service office via email or phone. You can also write them a physical letter to their offices in York, England.

There is a Southern service office located in London and a northern service office in Glasgow. 

Supplement rehab with AA

You can supplement rehab with alcoholics anonymous if you are struggling with mild to moderate addiction. People who have completed therapy, outpatient, or inpatient treatment can search for 'alcohol meetings near me. 

When you opt for NHS free addiction services, your GP may recommend you to an alcoholics meeting to get the encouragement and support you need. 

Alternatively, you can search for a rehab near you that offers 12-steps. Abbeycare is one of the treatment centres that provide the 12-steps. You can also get a free assessment online.

Many rehab clinics have 12-steps plus other non-12-steps options. If you or your loved one are struggling with severe addiction, you can enter search 'rehab clinics near me' to locate a 12-steps rehab near you. 

Attending alcoholic anonymous meetings 

It is common for people to have fear and reservations when they plan to attend an alcoholics meeting. What's more, some myths give people false expectations about the meetings, e.g., you have to pray, participate in group hugs.  

Well, that's not the case. 

The physical meetings usually involve a group of people sitting in a semi-circle with the chairperson of the day at the centre. The chairperson begins by reading the meeting's preamble or group prayer.

Afterward, different members in the meeting read from the Alcoholics anonymous book and the 12-steps tradition. 

The locations for the meetings are usually at a community centre or a building connected with a church. You can also find a physical meeting today by typing your town or postcode at the "Find a meeting" search site here. 

To conclude 

People with a drinking problem have a variety of free or affordable options for treatment. If you or your loved one are looking for a place to start, you can search 'alcohol rehabilitation near me.'

Some people describe alcoholics meetings as some form of therapy where each individual's experience is like listening to various therapists who are regular people.  

You can search and find a meeting online or visit a physical meeting. 

AA is popular because these meetings are free and benefit those with alcohol and other substance abuse problems. The details about the meetings are free and accessible on the alcoholics anonymous website. 

Abbeycare Pricing Bot

Last Updated: February 16, 2022

About the author

Peter Szczepanski

Peter has been on the GPhC register for 29 years. He holds a Clinical Diploma in Advanced Clinical Practice and he is a Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Misuse for Abbeycare Gloucester and works as the Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Use in Worcestershire. Peter also co-authored the new 6th edition of Drugs In Use by Linda Dodds, writing Chapter 15 on Alcohol Related Liver Disease. Find Peter on Respiratory Academy, Aston University graduates, University of Birmingham, Q, Pharmaceutical Journal, the Dudley Pharmaceutical Committee, Dudley Council, Twitter, and LinkedIn.