Does Alcoholics Anonymous Keep You Sober?

Alcoholics Anonymous plays a vital role in long-term recovery. However, the process is more successful when a 12-step program is combined with other treatment modalities, such as intensive outpatient treatment or residential rehabilitation.

Alcoholics Anonymous is a 12-step program designed to help those struggling with alcoholism and addiction get and stay sober. It is a program first developed in the mid-1930s that has helped millions of men and women across the globe maintain lifelong recovery. Back when Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was first founded, there were very limited options for those struggling with alcoholism. Essentially, one could either be institutionalized in a psychiatric facility (mental hospital) or attempt to deal with symptoms independently. It was also believed that alcoholism was a “men’s disease” – that women did not ever suffer from alcohol abuse or dependency. However, much has changed since the 1930s. We now understand much more about alcoholism than we ever did before. In addition, we understand that the disease does not discriminate – that individuals of all ages and sexes can become afflicted.

We also understand that while AA still plays a vital role, long-term recovery is more successful when a 12-step program is combined with other treatment modalities, such as intensive outpatient treatment or residential rehabilitation. It is also now understood that medical detox is a necessary part of every recovery journey – especially when alcohol is involved. Alcohol withdrawal can be extremely dangerous when not overseen by a team of medical professionals. But what is AA, and does it work to keep you sober?

Does Alcoholics Anonymous Keep You Sober?

Why Alcoholics Anonymous Works?

The only requirement for AA is a desire to stop drinking; there are no age limitations, and people of any personal background, professional, etc., may join. There are many wonderful things about AA, including the following:

  • It is free to join. There are no membership fees – however, some meetings ask for non-mandatory donations so that they can continue renting out their space (whether it be a church, a school gymnasium, or a recreation hall).
  • You do not need to struggle with alcohol to join AA. The program is open to anyone with a substance abuse issue.
  • AA is a non-religious program. Because it is founded in spirituality, many believe AA is religious – this is not the case! All that is asked of members is that they slowly begin to develop a belief in and reliance upon a power outside of themselves. This could be anything, from the ocean to a group of people… even a doorknob!
  • AA helps people foster deep and meaningful connections. Forming relationships with other human beings is essential to long-term sobriety. AA helps with this.
  • Those in this program work hard to provide others with a non-judgmental environment. Everybody struggles from time to time. In AA, there is no judgment – only acceptance.
  • You will be granted the opportunity to help others once you have completed the 12 steps. A sponsor will walk you through the steps, and once you have come out on the other side, you can also walk others through the steps.

Absolute Awakenings and Alcoholics Anonymous

At Absolute Awakenings, we incorporate the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous into our comprehensive treatment program. We believe in the value of AA because we have seen it work in the lives of many of our clients. Therefore, not only do we host on-site AA meetings, but we transport our clients to and from off-site AA meetings so that they have the opportunity to find a sponsor and begin working through the steps. We believe that providing this service allows our clients to get ahead in their recovery and helps them to pave the way for years and years of fulfilled and meaningful sobriety.

We also offer our clients the opportunity to become involved in other 12-step programs, such as Narcotics Anonymous (specifically for drug users), Gamblers Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, or Al-Anon (a support group for the family members of those struggling with substance abuse or dependency). So no matter your personal treatment goals, we are available to help. Please contact us today to learn more about AA or how we incorporate AA into our treatment program. We look forward to answering any questions and getting you on the road to lifelong recovery as quickly as possible.


  1. Have a problem with alcohol? There is a solution. | Alcoholics Anonymous. Accessed January 20, 2023.
  2. Nehring SM, Freeman AM. Alcohol Use Disorder. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing; 2022. Accessed January 20, 2023.
  3. Alcoholism Statistics & Alcohol Abuse Demographics. Accessed January 20, 2023.
Amanda Stevens, BS

Amanda Stevens, BS

Amanda is a prolific medical content writer specializing in eating disorders and addiction treatment. She graduated Magnum Cum Laude from Purdue University with a B.S. in Social Work. As a person in recovery from disordered eating, she is passionate about seeing people heal and transform. She writes for popular treatment centers such as Infinite RecoveryAscendant NY, The Heights Treatment, New Waters RecoveryGallus DetoxRecovery UnpluggedOcean RecoveryRefresh Recovery and adolescent mental health treatment center BasePoint Academy. In her spare time she loves learning about health, nutrition, meditation, spiritual practices, and enjoys being the a mother of a beautiful daughter.

Last medically reviewed January 20, 2023