When you are doing everything that you can to maintain your sobriety, meetings can be your best friend. If you attend a structured inpatient rehab program, meetings will be a part of your schedule every single day. You’ll take part in a wide variety of meetings, from one-on-one to group to family. They will become part of your regular daily activities for quite a while as you get used to living a sober lifestyle. Talking to others will help you understand why you have the cravings you do, what you can do to stop them, and what the future looks like.
Of course, you won’t be attending inpatient rehab forever. You may be wondering how many AA meetings a person should go to per week once they are back in the regular world. The answer will vary, but we can help you gain some perspective on the answer.
What is AA?
AA, or Alcoholics Anonymous, is a fellowship of women and men who have been or are dealing with a drinking problem. It is not a club that you have to join or pay membership to. It is open to anyone who wants outside help for their alcohol problem, and there are no education, race, gender, or age requirements. Additionally, AA meetings can be found almost anywhere. They are famous for their use of the “12 steps” which, when practiced every day, will help you live without the crutch of alcohol.
Why Go to AA?
As we said above, every patient in rehab will be required to attend different meetings during the program. Once you are out of rehab, it’s very important to keep up with meetings as much as possible. Many people go to AA because they are court-ordered to attend. However, AA meetings can do wonders for those who need help dealing with their alcoholism. It’s a place to go to talk to others who are dealing with the same issues. As the name says, these meetings are completely anonymous. No one will know that you are attending them unless you tell them yourself.
Many people find sponsors at local AA meetings. A sponsor is another alcoholic who has already made progress within the recovery program. They are someone you can call and talk to whenever you need help fighting the urge to drink. Needing constant support during this difficult time is very normal for recovering alcoholics, and a sponsor will help you get through the crisis.
Frequency of AA Meetings
How many meetings you do go to once you are through with rehab may depend on where you live. AA meetings are held at the following places around the world:
• Places of worship
• Private clubs
• Coffee Shops
• Private residences
Many places offer meetings from early morning until late at night. You don’t have to sign up for a meeting in advance, so you always have the chance to attend one whenever you feel the urge.
Now for the big question- how many meetings should you be attending every week? The amount will depend on how long you have been sober, your availability, and how often you need the support. In the beginning, you may wish to go to an AA meeting every single day. You will find it hard to stay sober when you first stop drinking, and the support you find at a meeting will help you make it through the urges. Many recovering addicts attend meetings when they would otherwise be drinking, such as on a Friday or Saturday night or during a football game on Sunday afternoon.
Most addiction specialists recommend that recovering alcoholics attend AA meetings at least 3 to 4 times a week during the first few months of newfound sobriety. You may find that you need to attend more meetings or less. Depending on your level of addiction, you may wish to attend this often for a year or more. It is a personal decision that will greatly depend on many personal factors. Remember, the more meetings you attend, the easier it will be to stay sober. Once you have remained sober for a year or more, you may find that it is okay to cut down to one meeting a week. After a few years of sobriety, one meeting per month may be sufficient. However, it is a learning curve that will depend on YOU. If you feel like you need a meeting, go!
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