Q: Do you have to believe in God to attend AA meetings?
There are mainly two different kinds of AA meetings, open and closed. An open meeting is for anyone who wants to attend. The closed meeting is only for people who believe they have an alcohol/drug dependency problem and have a desire to quit.
Neither of these meetings requires a belief in God.
The twelve steps refer to a higher power or God “as you understand him,” but during meetings and in AA literature, the mention of any particular religion is discouraged. In this way, anyone can attend without feeling pressure to join a particular religion, belief system, or church.
AA does believe that alcoholism/addiction is too powerful to overcome by self-will alone. The “higher power” or God referred to in the steps is benevolent, caring, loving, and wants to help men and women defeat their addictions. Often, men and women who do not believe in God, will simply use “The AA Group” as their higher power.
“AA does believe
that alcoholism/addiction is too powerful
to overcome by self-will alone.”
When I first started attending AA, I had no religious beliefs. All I had was a desire to quit using alcohol and drugs. Sometimes a person will not even have the desire.
It is during times like this that the Higher Power (God) comes into a person’s life—to do for a person, that which he cannot do alone.
This “Q & A with Joe” is excerpted from
Part 5 of the updated edition:
“Why Don’t They Just Quit?
Hope for families struggling with addiction.”
> Phone Counseling for Family Members
> Recommended Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
> Low cost, No cost Alcohol and Drug Treatment Directory
> Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Recovery Resources for Friends, Families and Employers
>12-Step Recovery and “Things of God.” A Perfect Match. ~by Joe Herzanek
If you found this article helpful please see our “Ask Joe” posts listed at the bottom and consider reading
“Why Don’t they Just Quit? Hope for families struggling with addiction.”
Recent Amazon.com reviews:
Best book ever about addiction. Written by one whose done it and is recovering. Easy to read, not preachy, just honest. I recommend this book to anyone with an addict in their life! ~Lynda A
Got an addiction problem in your family? Read this book. Joe knows his stuff. This book helps you better understand those dealing with friends and family that are addicted to drugs and alcohol. I have read several of these books but this one is the best. ~RJ
I, like many people, have some knowledge of what drugs and addiction are, but are clueless on what the process of recovery entails. This book does a great job in what it would take to help a loved one, who is an addict and is willing to get clean and stay clean. It also gives one hope that your loved one will survive the nightmare they are living through with their family. ~CG
> Do you have to stop seeing all your old friends in order to recover?
> Is a relapse—failure?
>Should my husband “back off?”
> If someone can stop using drugs or alcohol for weeks at a time, they “aren’t an addict—correct?
>Chronic Pain Management & Pain Pill Addiction: What to do?
>How can I know if my addicted friend or loved one is telling the truth?
>How can I tell if someone is an addict/alcoholic or just a heavy user?
>What is Methadone? What is Harm Reduction?
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