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How Do I Talk to a Friend about Joining AA?

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If you believe someone you know could benefit from AA in the way you already have, it can still be difficult and intimidating to begin a conversation, but it can also help both of you. To help your friend, talk to them about AA and also call 800-948-8417 Question iconWho Answers? to find treatment centers that could help them end their substance abuse for good.

Carrying the Message

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the 12th step of AA is as follows: “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics.” Part of your recovery with AA and your commitment to the program involves talking to others whom you know could possibly benefit from what the program teaches about joining.

In order to continue your journey with the program––especially after you have already completed the 12 steps for the first time––you will want to discuss AA with those you know or meet who are struggling with alcohol misuse.

Having the Conversation

about Joining AA

If your friend gets upset about suggesting they join AA, make sure to stay calm.

There are several important things to remember, though, while actually having the conversation with a friend. Because this person is someone you know and care for, remember to think of their feelings at all times and to be courteous. You would have wanted the same from anyone else.

  • Avoid judgment. You may say to them, “I’ve noticed you’ve been drinking more than usual,” but it is important to avoid statements like “You drink too much.” This implies criticism and will not usually go over well.
  • Don’t push. Your friend may not be at the point in their life where they can accept the help you are offering. If this is the case, pressuring them will not make the situation any better.
  • Above all, stay calm. Your friend may become upset when you suggest they need help for their alcohol abuse, but if you stay calm, you can keep the situation from escalating.
  • Be honest. When your friend asks you questions about AA and your journey through the program, try not to hold back, no matter how difficult certain times for you may have been. It will allow you to work through your own issues and help them feel less alone.
  • If you feel that you do not have certain answers they require, ask your sponsor or someone who has been in AA longer to talk to them.

Saying the Right Things

It is important to use “I” statements when talking to someone about their substance abuse. Tell them “I feel…” or “I’ve noticed…” instead of pointing out everything they do wrong. This will make them more likely to discuss the issue with you in a calmer tone and for your words to have more meaning to them.

Seeking Help––Together

You and your friend both deserve to find the right programs for your recoveries and to end your abuse of alcohol together. As stated by the University of Pennsylvania Health System, this will not only improve your lives separately but your relationship with one another as well. Call 800-948-8417 Question iconWho Answers? to find rehab centers that will provide you with the best treatment options available. In addition, you can help them start to attend AA meetings with you.

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