Tag Archive: alcoholics anonymous

  1. Young people in AA

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    Each and every day, roughly 75 teens enter alcohol treatment. Part of the care they receive is Alcoholics Anonymous. AA an important part of therapy, but it’s highly misunderstood by a lot of people. At its heart, it’s about attending regular meetings—an important skill for anyone in recovery, religious or not.

     

    Fundamentals of AA

     

    Whereas rehab programs are run by licensed professionals, AA is founded and run by fellow addicts—peers, essentially. AA is a big peer group that shares a common goal, staying sober. It’s about working together, sharing strategies, and keeping each other on track. It’s something from which all teens can benefit, addicted or not. For teens in recovery, AA serves as a sobriety safety net.

    AA meetings follow one of two formats: open and closed. Open meetings are helpful because they are available to friends and family who could use the education. At these meetings, speakers discuss their own alcoholism histories and. Closed meetings are where members receive the intensive help. Meetings are held once or twice per week. Believe it or not, they’re completely free.

     

    Working the Program

     

    As an active AA member, teens are asked to:

    • Work with an experienced AA member
    • Mentor new members
    • Volunteer within the community
    • Participate in social outings
    • Make amends for past mistakes
    • Give up control to a higher power

    In AA, addiction is viewed a chronic problem, a problem that can only be tackled one day at a time. Once someone gives up the notion that they can resist temptations, the question then becomes, “How do I minimize the temptation?” Teenage years in particular are filled with these temptations.

     

    Finding a Meeting

     

    10 percent of AA members are younger than 30, but it still might be best to look for meetings that are specifically targeted for teenagers. Most traditional facilities will happily point you in their direction. Participating in adult meetings may be helpful too, especially for teens who have lacked adult role models in their lives. Don’t feel pressured to sign up for the first meeting place your family checks out.

  2. Four Characteristics of a Good Sponsor

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    Four Characteristics of a Good SponsorWhen Alcoholics Anonymous was formed by Bill Wilson and his friend Dr. Bob, there were few attendees. In the 1930’s, drug addiction and alcoholism were anomalies. Aside from mental hospitals, there was little solution to the insanity which drove men and women to drink. After word of AA’s success grew, so did the program. As the size of attendees grew the need for people who could support these “newcomers” did as well. Helping a fellow alcoholic take the 12 steps was how the role of a sponsor was developed. Today, a sponsor is a confidant, mentor, and guide through the journey of recovery. Choosing a sponsor is not a contract. However, the 12 steps require honesty. Finding a sponsor in whom you can trust and open up honestly to will be beneficial to your recovery process.

    4 Characteristics of a Good Sponsor

    First, sponsors are recommended to be of the same sex. Women should be sponsored by women and men should be sponsored by men. Many young adults in recovery from addiction and alcoholism have parental issues in their stories, or have experienced sexual abuse. These situations can complicate a sponsorship relationship with someone of the opposite sex.  

    Second, a good sponsor will have experienced his own recovery from drug abuse or alcoholism through a 12-step program. The sponsor’s primary purpose is to take you through the 12 step process. Having completed the steps on their own is a basic requirement. In addition,  a sponsor who has experienced the same stresses and challenges you have can foster feeling of solidarity and trust. Sponsor relationships are strengthened through shared experiences.

    Third, a sponsor should have their own sponsor. Nobody has all of the answers in recovery. One of the best examples a sponsor can set is that it is acceptable to seek help and admit that they don’t know everything.  A sponsor who has their own sponsor demonstrates the ability to be resourceful in finding help and support.

    Last, your sponsor’s actions and lifestyle should show you that they enjoy life, live in the moment, and will not be dragged down by life’s stresses or inconsistencies. Recovering addicts are most at risk for a relapse when they have not developed good mechanisms to handle triggers, like stress, that can create otherwise unbearable cravings for drugs. Recovery also needs to be about fun. Wanting what your sponsor has in their life will be inspiration for you in yours.      

     

    Sustain Recovery Services offers a 12-step based extended care program for adolescents and young adults in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Our daily program includes scheduled time for our clients to meet and work with their Sponsor. For more information on our unique aftercare program, please call 949-407-9052.

I first met Sayeh in November of 2013 just after my 15 year old daughter had been admitted to a residential treatment program. As part of the program I was required to attend 2-3 AlAnon meetings a week. Sayeh attended the same AlAnon meetings as well as Alumni events as I. It soon became apparent to me that Sayeh had a heart for recovery, program, and God. When I was encouraged to get a sponsor I didn’t hesitate. Dependable, respectful, kind and generous of spirit, she exudes an inner peace that I hope to achieve with her loving guidance, as I work my own program. She is patient, & full of wisdom that she is always happy to share with her sponsees and fellow parents. I am so grateful our journeys brought us together.

Megan
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