Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
Voluntary fellowship of people suffering from alcoholism who seek to become and stay sober through mutual self-help by meeting in local, independent groups to share their common experience. Anonymity, confidentiality, and understanding of alcoholism as a disease free members to speak frankly. Many consider AA to be the most successful method of coping with alcoholism; participation raises the chances of success of other treatments. Its 12 steps to recovery include acknowledgment of the problem, faith in a higher power as understood by each individual, self-examination, and a desire to change for the better and to help others recover. Begun in 1935 by two alcoholics, AA has grown to some 2 million members worldwide. Similar organizations for abusers of other substances and for habitual gamblers and debtors are based on its principles.
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