Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is an immensely prevalent problem in the United States. According to statistics reviewed by the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 14.5 million people over the age of 12 had an alcohol use disorder. Not only is this number staggering by the sheer size, but it’s also shocking to note that so many young people were affected.
The good news is that alcohol use disorder can effectively be treated. By seeking out the right program, such as those offered by AA, many young adults can find freedom and recovery and begin their journey back to healthy living once again.
What is AA?
AA stands for Alcoholics Anonymous, a group of people working together to find freedom and relief from a lifestyle of alcohol use/misuse. AA welcomes anyone and everyone who have realized that they cannot control their alcohol use and wish to do something about it.
Unlike alcohol treatment programs, AA is structured in the format of meetings, where members gather together to share their experiences, find community and support among like-minded individuals and work through the Twelve Steps to reach sobriety. The goal of AA is to help individuals in a peer-to-peer setting find satisfaction from a life that no longer includes alcohol.
There are numerous benefits to attending AA meetings, such as:
- AA does not require membership fees or dues, rather, members only need the desire to put a stop to their drinking habits
- Individuals who also attend AA meetings have shown longer rates of abstinence as compared to individuals who only seek traditional talk therapy treatment
- You can go as often as you like, to any location, depending on your desire for support
- You will be accepted regardless of age, race, sex or religious beliefs
- You can remain anonymous
- You will be able to form a supportive community of people working towards similar goals
Because of its welcoming environment, availability and flexible nature, many individuals have seen huge improvements in their personal relationship with alcohol and in their overall recovery.
Is AA for young adults?
Traditionally speaking, Alcoholics Anonymous most often draws an older crowd of individuals, but it does not cater to an older crowd; in other words, everyone, no matter your age, can and will benefit from AA meetings and the Twelve Step program.
Take the Twelve Steps, for example. The first step is about admitting that one’s life has become unmanageable and that you’re powerless against alcohol — this first step is crucial for anyone, regardless of age, to admit if they are going to pursue recovery. And step number eight — “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all” — does not apply to one specific age either. Young adults can find immense healing from making amends for their actions done under the influence of alcohol.
So when you wonder, “Are AA meetings for young adults?”, the answer is yes. AA was not designed to meet the needs of one age group in particular, but to help anyone, regardless of age, find support and recovery from an alcohol use disorder.
Should I find an AA meeting for people my age?
There are plenty of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings taking place in various towns, cities, hospitals, treatment facilities and even community centers in order to meet the needs of the people in our communities. Because everyone is welcome to come to a meeting, you’re likely to find an array of ages in attendance. For some individuals, this might not bother you at all — after all, there’s much to be learned from people who’ve lived longer than you have, or who have been successfully journeying through recovery for an extended period of time.
But for some, it’s more comfortable and easy to build a community with people your own age. You might relate more to their experiences, and find it easier to be held accountable by someone your own age. Thankfully, there are plenty of opportunities to find AA meetings geared towards a young adult age group.
Seeking a group for young adults can help you in the initial stages of your recovery journey, but keep in mind the value of learning from those with years of sobriety under their belt. After you have grown more familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous and the structure of its meetings, consider branching out to a group with a wider diversity — you may be surprised at the wisdom and extended support you receive from those slightly older than yourself.
Supplementing your journey with AA
No one can deny the benefits members of Alcoholics Anonymous experience as they walk through the Twelve Steps. If, however, you’re looking for additional help to supplement any AA meetings you may be attending, consider the professional support of Real Recovery. Our counselors are standing by to help you address any substance use disorders you may be battling.
Contact our admissions office today by calling 855-363-7325.