Online Meetings For Alcoholics

online meetings for alcoholics

There are many advantages to attending online meetings for alcoholics. They are convenient for people who travel frequently or have physical limitations, and they allow individuals with co-occurring mental health disorders to attend meetings without the anxiety of having to interact face to face with others.

Research suggests that individuals early in recovery are more likely to attend online AA meetings. However, more research is needed to understand whether this association generalizes to other populations.

Have you tried Meetn, the new online meeting platform?
It’s turning out to become a decent alternative to Zoom and to the other major platforms.

What are AA meetings?

Online AA meetings are similar to in-person meetings in terms of structure. Typically, an AA member serving as the meeting’s leader (or “chair”) opens the meeting with a brief discussion on the topic selected. Meeting topics can vary widely but are usually drawn from the Big Book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, As Bill Sees It or The AA Grapevine.

Whether open or closed, a speaker meeting features an AA member sharing their experience, strength and hope with the group. Many groups also have a coin person who asks attendees to come forward who are celebrating a milestone, such as 30 days or 30 years of sobriety. These individuals are given a well-deserved round of applause.

Online meetings are great for people who have trouble getting to a physical meeting due to travel restrictions or other issues. However, they are not a replacement for treatment. If you have alcohol use disorder, a treatment program is the best option for long-term recovery.

Who can attend an AA meeting?

AA meetings are open to anyone who has a desire to stop drinking, regardless of age or circumstances. Family members and friends of those with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) are welcome to attend AA meetings too, free of charge.

Many AA members pair up with an experienced member, called a sponsor, to guide them through the program. Typically, the sponsor has spent significant time in recovery and has a long history of sobriety.

During AA meetings, members are encouraged to share their experiences with alcohol addiction and the steps of recovery. Some meetings are structured to include discussion of the Big Book, Twelve Steps, and Twelve Traditions. Others focus on a specific Step or topic.

Most meetings have a volunteer facilitator who helps ensure the meeting starts on time and includes all the necessary elements of an AA meeting. The facilitator also helps facilitate the group’s discussions. AA members often arrive early or stay late to visit with one another and enjoy pre- and post-meeting fellowship.

How do AA meetings work?

Meetings are run by a member known as the chairperson. The meeting starts with a short introduction and the chairperson reading from the big book (the AA program for recovery). Participants are then encouraged to share about their experiences, thoughts, and feelings with the group. They may also read from the big book or discuss other recovery-related topics.

The chairperson often asks for people who are new to the meeting to introduce themselves. This is not mandatory though, and it isn’t uncommon for new members to attend a few meetings before sharing. Afterward, the chairperson usually announces that it is time to celebrate sobriety. This can include announcing how many days, weeks, or months of sobriety a person has achieved. The group might clap or cheer to show their support.

Online AA meetings are available through various video conferencing apps or forums. They have been around for years, but the COVID-19 pandemic made them more popular by forcing groups that normally meet in person to switch to an online format.

What are the benefits of attending an AA meeting?

Many alcoholics enter recovery in a state of isolation, physical or mental, so connecting with others at meetings is important. Meetings can also provide a sense of belonging, which is essential for long-term recovery.

In addition to the group discussion, AA groups also have speakers that share their story of recovery with the audience. This is a great way to get to know other members and hear about their experience, strength and hope.

At the beginning of a meeting, the chairperson may ask newcomers to introduce themselves. This is not meant to embarrass or call out those that are new, but rather to give others the opportunity to welcome you and make sure that you feel included.

AA also offers opportunities to volunteer for activities outside of the regular meeting such as going into prisons or homeless shelters. This is a wonderful way to connect with other members outside of the meeting and to help those in need.