Alcoholics Anonymous: How does the Program work?

Alcoholics Anonymous is a free support group that can help people get and stay sober. In Atlanta, you can find a meeting almost every hour of every day ( . Meetings usually begin with a reading of the 12 steps and 12 traditions. These give the guidelines for how the Program works and how the meeting is run.

When you decide to get sober, a sponsor can help you by guiding you through the 12 steps and being available to you when you feel an urge to drink. When picking a sponsor, look for someone who has been in the Program long enough to have worked through the 12 steps and feels confidant in guiding you through the study.

It is recommended that you attend 90 meetings in 90 days — one each day — to help you change the habit of drinking for the habit of sobriety.

One way that you will benefit from the support of the group is through the recognition you get from the “chip system.” The first chip is the “Surrender” chip. You get one when you are ready to stop drinking. As you have more and more days of sobriety, you will get additional chips for 30 days, 60 days, etc. There is usually a big celebration at the year markers with a special speaker and treats. AA can feel like a “chosen family” after awhile.

To read more about Alcoholics Anonymous, go to

For meetings in Atlanta, go to

For Al-Anon meetings for friends and family members of problem drinkers go to

If you’d like support in walking this new path, give me a call at 404.518.0828. I look forward to your call!  Dr. Sharman Colosetti