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For the best addiction recovery results after your substance abuse treatment, complete abstinence from drugs and alcohol is necessary. Regular attendance at sober support group meetings will help you achieve a sober life. Knowing that others are facing the same challenges to abstain will give you the strength to maintain your own sobriety.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Since 1939, Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) has helped millions of men and women recover from alcoholism and drug abuse. Alcoholics Anonymous is an international community of men and women who have had a drinking addiction. They are willing to share their experience, strength and hope with each other in order to control their common addiction and help others recover from alcoholism. A.A. is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical and available almost everywhere worldwide. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her problem drinking.

The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for membership; they are self-supporting through their own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution. Not wishing to engage in any controversy, the group neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Their primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve and maintain their sobriety.

Alcoholism and drug addiction are often referred to as “substance abuse” or “chemical dependency.” Therefore, non-alcoholics are sometimes referred to A.A. and are encouraged to attend meetings. Anyone may attend open A.A. meetings, but only alcoholics may attend closed meetings.

To find an A.A. meeting in your area, visit http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-local-aa.

Al-Anon Family Groups

Al-Anon is almost as old as Alcoholics Anonymous. Al-Anon was started by Lois W., wife of A.A. cofounder Bill W., and her close friend, Anne B. In the formative years of A.A., the wives and relatives of A.A. members realized that they, too, could improve their lives by applying the spiritual principles of A.A.

At Al-Anon Family Group meetings, the friends and family members of alcoholics share their experiences and learn how to apply the principles of the Al-Anon program to their individual situations. They learn that they are not alone in the problems they face and that they have choices that lead to greater peace of mind, whether the drinker continues to drink or not.

Sponsorship gives members an opportunity to get personal support from someone more experienced in the program. These relationships are voluntary. Members ask another member to be their Sponsor when they believe that person will be suitable as a mentor in applying the program.

Younger family members and friends attend Alateen meetings.

To find an Al-Anon meeting in the U.S., Canada, Bermuda and Puerto Rico, visit www.al-anon.org/local-meetings.

Narcotics Anonymous

Founded in 1953, Narcotics Anonymous holds more than 61,000 meetings weekly in 129 countries offering an ongoing support network for substance abuse addicts who wish to pursue and maintain a drug-free lifestyle. Membership in the community-based organization is free.

In its publication An Introduction to NA Meetings, the organization describes itself as “a nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. We are recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean. The Twelve Steps of NA are the basis of our recovery program. Our meetings are where we share recovery with one another, but applying our program consists of much more than simply attending NA meetings. People have all sorts of reasons for attending NA meetings, but the purpose of each meeting is to give NA members a place to share recovery with other addicts.”

NA has no membership fees or dues. Members make voluntary contributions at meetings to support the group and other efforts to spread their message. Nonmembers are asked not to contribute so NA can remain fully self-supporting.

To find a Narcotics Anonymous meeting in your area, visit http://www.na.org/meetingsearch/.

Nar-Anon Family Groups

The Nar-Anon Family Groups are a worldwide fellowship for those affected by someone else’s drug addiction. As a 12-Step Program, members offer their help by sharing their experiences, strength and hope at weekly meetings, which are usually held at locations such as drug treatment facilities and community centers, hospitals, churches or local 12-step clubs. The only requirement for membership is that there be a problem of substance abuse addiction in a relative or friend.

Nar-Anon is complementary to, but separate from, Narcotics Anonymous. It is a nonprofessional fellowship that has no dues or fees. Each group is self-supporting and collects donations that are used for local expenses, such as room rent and supplies. Group and member donations support the Nar-Anon World Service Office. Nar-Anon is not a replacement for professional addiction recovery treatment. They do cooperate with N.A. and other chemical dependency recovery programs but don’t affiliate with or recommend them specifically.

Younger family members and friends attend Narateen meetings.

To find a Nar-Anon meeting in your area, visit www.nar-anon.org/find-a-meeting.