Slide 1

Alcoholics Anonymous
PHE Drug & Alcohol Team and
- 10 April 2013
Daniele Vautrat
Health Liaison – Lewisham and Greenwich
Alcoholics Anonymous
The bigger picture
• 1 in 5 main risk factors to health in the UK
(Global Burden of Disease 2010)
• Alcohol dependence – 6% of men and 2% of
women (ARNAP 2004)
Alcohol disorder - 26% of men and women
drink dangerous amounts of alcohol (ARNAP 2004)
• Binge drinking – 21% of men and 9% of
(ARNAP 2004)
AA’s view of alcoholism
• Alcoholism is a progressive illness
• Alcoholism is a threefold condition –
physical, mental and spiritual
• Alcoholics have lost the power to control
their drinking
How did AA start?
AA started is the US in 1935 by two alcoholics:
a stockbroker and a doctor
• 2 million members in 150 countries
• 25,000 members in Great Britain
• 700+ meetings a week in London
What is AA?
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men
and women who share their experience
strength and hope with each other that may
solve their common problem and help others
to recover from alcoholism
Who can join AA?
The only requirement for membership
is a desire to stop drinking
No hidden agenda
AA is not allied with any sect,
denomination, politics, organisation
or institution; does not wish to engage
in any controversy; neither endorses
nor opposes any causes
How much does AA cost?
It’s free!
There are no dues or fees for AA
membership, we are self-supporting
through our own contributions
How does AA work?
• One alcoholic talking to another
• One day at a time
• Local meetings
• Newcomers choose when they are ready
- to self-diagnose as an alcoholic
- to embark on the 12 step programme of recovery
- to pick a sponsor of their own choosing
- to trust a Higher Power of their own choosing
What is an AA meeting?
• Each group is autonomous and
• “Closed” and “open” meetings
• 4,000+ meetings in GB, 700+ in London
Who runs AA?
• 3 admin offices in York, London and Glasgow
• Voluntary service
• Rotation of service positions
• Fellowship of peers relying on tradition,
suggestion and example
• There are no rules, regulations or governing
Is AA 100% successful?
Not in our experience
• 40% had not had a drink for
between 2 and 10 years
• 73% had not had a drink for at
least 1 year
Source: Survey of AA membership - 2010
Leading to mutual aid
• 20-30% of patients attending primary care
clinics misuse alcohol
(WHO 2005)
• Brief alcohol interventions in primary care can
significantly reduce hazardous drinking
(Cochrane Database Systematic Review 2007)
• Systematic encouragement to attend self-help
groups is a cost-effective way to enhance
treatment outcome (Humphries K 2004)
How can AA help?
• 14% of members first heard of AA from their GP
(AA UK survey 2010)
• Free posters and contact cards
• AA helpline link to local meetings
• Professionals welcome to attend “open” meetings
• As part of continuing professional development,
AA can deliver staff training
Desire to change
• FAST or AUDIT questionnaire
• Denial of the problem
• Resistance to change
• Plant the seed. Alcohol will do the rest
• AA newcomers will self-diagnose through
AA’s primary purpose
Our primary purpose is to stay
sober and help other alcoholics
to achieve sobriety
TEL NO: 01904 644026

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