If you have made a decision that you might benefit from stopping drinking or using addictive substances, and are considering the 12 step programs as a potential solution to your problem, I must say from personal experience you are definitely barking up the right tree. I made the same decision 20 years ago and have been sober ever since. The starting point is to begin going to the meetings as soon as possible. At these meetings you will hear what others have done to achieve successful recovery. It is also at these meetings that you will begin to develop your sober support system. Meetings can be found by simply calling the central office of the program of your choice and asking where and when the local meetings are held. Telephone numbers for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can typically be found in the phone book. If you want to contact one of the other anonymous programs, the AA or NA office will usually be able to direct you to them. You can also get the numbers by calling your local alcohol and drug treatment center – also found in the phone book. Meetings can be found in most cities at multiple times during the day and evening hours. When you go to a meeting, pick up a meeting directory so you can plan which meetings you will go to next.
The most common suggestion regarding the number of meetings a newcomer should attend is 90 meetings in your first 90 days. This was suggested to me in my early recovery and I complied because, by the time I got to the program, I was truly ready to follow direction from those who knew more than I about sobriety. Some of the reasoning behind this suggestion is that in the first three months of daily meeting attendance you will learn what you need to know to stay sober. Another reason that was presented to me is it takes ten to twelve weeks to develop new habits. Developing the habit of addressing my recovery on a daily basis was very important for me as I have a tendency to become easily distracted. More on meetings to follow…
Excerpts taken from Bob’s award-winning book:
“Enough Already!: A Guide to Recovery from Alcohol and Drug Addiction”