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Is AA a Good Long-term Treatment Plan?

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Especially if you have attended or are attending a professional treatment program for your alcoholism in addition to AA, this mutual-help group (MHG) can be a strong, long-term treatment plan. Depending on your needs, you may decide to stay in AA for a long time, and this could be extremely beneficial to you.

No Consequences of Long-term Attendance

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “One reason for the popularity of MHGs may be their inherent flexibility and responsiveness. People can attend MHGs as frequently and for as long as they want without insurance and without divulging personal information.” This is why AA, which follows the same rules as most MHGs, can be a wonderful option for long-term treatment.

Those who attend AA for months or even years often find new ways that the program is able to help them over time and experience a number of benefits without any consequences. It can be much cheaper and easier to attend AA in the long-term than to attend another type of treatment program that requires payment, insurance, and reevaluation over time. Still, it is important to always evaluate yourself when attending a program like AA for a long period of time and to ask yourself if you are still gaining anything from the program as you continue to attend it.

The 12 Steps Aren’t the Goal

Long-term Treatment

Peer support provided in AA promotes a sober lifestyle.

Many people feel that being in AA or a similar group means getting through the 12 steps in order to “finish” the program. On the contrary, completing the 12 steps isn’t really the goal of the program, but rather, it is to “draw on the social support offered by peer discussion to help promote and sustain drug-free lifestyles” (National Institute on Drug Abuse).

This is something that can continue to be helpful for months or years and even past the point where a person completes the 12 steps for the first time. Once they do, they can become sponsors or help others going through the steps themselves, which many members find beneficial to their own recoveries as well. In addition, some people even go through the steps multiple times, feeling that they learn more every time they do.

AA as Aftercare

One of the best ways AA can be used as a long-term treatment plan is as an aftercare program that begins either during addiction treatment or after formal treatment has ended. This is one of the most beneficial uses for the program because it can continue a long-term relationship with positive influences for the individual and create a plan that will continue into the individual’s long-term recovery.

Still, if a person chooses to use AA as a short-term solution or in place of traditional treatment, this can be beneficial depending on the particular patient’s needs. But most individuals who use AA as a long-term aftercare plan gain many benefits from it.

Would You Like to Learn More About AA?

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