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Find AA Meetings in Iowa

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AA meetings in Iowa help individuals struggling with alcohol addiction find peer support, learn helpful tools for recovery, and create a foundation for long-term sobriety. These meetings are free to attend and are available in 24 locations throughout the state. Meetings follow the 12 step method of recovery and are open to individuals of all ages as well as different ethnic, economic, and cultural backgrounds. There are different types of AA meetings available, allowing participants to share their experiences, provide recommendations, and offer hope for the future. Members of AA conduct all meetings and work together to determine the format.

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Expert Insights

In 2022, 867 Iowans died from alcohol-related causes. This represents an increase of 45% from 2019 and 5% from 2021. Throughout Iowa, individuals can participate in graduated levels of detox, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and aftercare. While recovery resources are prevalent, it remains one of the laxest states in the country in terms of alcohol policy enforcement. Its policy score ranks 48th out of all 50 states, directly contributing to personal and second-hand harms. Measures that can reverse this trend include exercising greater government control over alcohol sales, imposing stricter penalties for selling alcohol to minors and intoxicated adults, and more rigorously enforcing underage drinking laws throughout the state. 

Alcohol Use in Iowa

While alcohol use throughout Iowa continues to be on the uptick, addiction treatment facilities are seeking to address this growing problem. Here are the most current statistics:

  • 68% of all substance-related hospital emergency department (ED) visits in Iowa are directly attributed to alcohol 
  • 57% of Iowa adults report consuming at least one alcoholic drink in the past 30 days, higher than the national average of 53%
  • Iowa ranks higher than the national average in binge drinking rates, with 22% of Iowans reporting a binge drinking session within the past month, compared to 16% across the U.S. 
  • Approximately 8,000 Iowans sought help for alcohol and drug addictions in 2020

Popular Types of AA Meetings in Iowa

There are many types of AA meetings available throughout Iowa, designed to cater to each individual’s unique needs and preferred treatment model. 

  • Open/Closed Meetings: Open meetings are accessible to anyone interested in the AA recovery model, including those seeking treatment for alcohol addiction as well as their friends and relatives who want to discover more about how the program operates and what the 12 step program entails. Closed meetings are only available to current AA members or individuals who struggle with alcohol addiction and are looking for a way to stop drinking. They allow members to discuss topics that are best understood by others who have experienced or are experiencing the disease of addiction. 
  • Big Book Meetings: These meetings are structured primarily around material from the organization’s handbook, called the Big Book. First published in 1939, the Big Book describes the treatment model that the first 100 members of AA followed to achieve sobriety and includes valuable recovery-focused life skills to address the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of recovery. At a Big Book Meeting, the chairperson will usually read from the text for approximately 10 minutes, followed by a 20-minute special speaker session and around 10 minutes of group conversation. 
  • Speaker Meetings: Speaker meetings allow one or more group participants to talk openly about their experience with alcoholism and their journey to recovery. These meetings vary slightly from discussion meetings, wherein participants focus on one specific aspect of alcohol addiction or recovery. Speakers are typically selected beforehand and some groups may require individuals to have a minimum period of sobriety before participating in this role. 

Each AA meeting intends to offer hope, encouragement, and solidarity to participants, as well as provide them with valuable and actionable tools they can use to support their own sobriety.

Online AA Meetings in Iowa

Online AA meetings allow Iowans to participate in their chosen AA group without the confines of a physical location. This way, they can attend virtually from any location they choose, which makes it a flexible and convenient option for anyone with time-sensitive personal or professional obligations. Some AA meetings in Iowa are available in a hybrid format, allowing those who desire an in-person gathering to meet together at a physical location while others can log in virtually.

Resources for Alcohol Addiction

If you or someone you know in Iowa is struggling with alcohol addiction, there are local and state resources that can help. These include: 

  • Iowa Health and Human Services (HHS): The HHS licenses and monitors around 100 different substance use disorder treatment facilities, offering a county-specific integrated provider network (IPN) service area map for reference.
  • Your Life Iowa: This is a free, statewide crisis line that provides information and referrals to individuals experiencing an addiction-related crisis. In addition to providing phone-based counseling support, they can also help individuals find local addiction treatment facilities and counselors in their area. 

In addition to these facilities, individuals can seek treatment through local nonprofits and government programs including the Iowa City VA Health Care System and the Adult Rehabilitation Center at the Salvation Army of Des Moines. There are also behavioral health, mental health, and addiction recovery services offered at most hospitals and healthcare networks, including UnityPoint Health.


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