What to Expect At A 12-Step Program Meeting

A Guide for Those New to Addiction Recovery

Livengrin and many other addiction recovery centers offer many kinds of group support meetings, including AA meetings (a.k.a 12 step programs).The idea of attending a 12-step program can be intimidating, especially if it is your first time. This is a quick overview to ease your nerves.

When you arrive, there will typically be people sitting in chairs arranged around one central chair, where the meeting leader will sit.

You will have to introduce yourself by saying the stereotypical, “Hi, I’m (name), and I’m an alcoholic”,  but you will not have to share anything else if you are not comfortable. The way the meeting is structured depends on the leader and the needs of the group.  You may listen to one, or a few, people share their stories.  Most likely, however, there will be readings of a few key pieces of AA literature:

No two meetings are exactly alike no matter where you choose to go. Some meetings  may be more religious or be more reflection or teaching based. Some may even incorporate group discussion and sharing, and some focus on one individuals journey and advice. Some, like ours, may even be a piece of an even larger treatment program. Of course, you can carry out any action items, such as getting court vouchers signed, after the meeting is over.

The key factors of any 12-step program is that they are to help you adjust to changing your habits and detaching from the need for substances in a way that is healthy, supportive, and non-judgmental. The group is there to support you in gently changing your mindset and realizing you are capable of recovery.

If this sounds like something you may want or need, you can learn more here.

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