If you feel nervous about attending your first 12-Step meeting, you’re not alone. It’s very common for people starting out in sobriety — or at any stage of recovery, for that matter — to feel hesitant about going to a meeting dedicated to recovering from alcohol or drugs. But overcoming those initial fears can produce great rewards in the end, as you’ll find a wealth of support and information in groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), and Al-Anon.
Beginning with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in 1935, 12-Step groups have become one of the most effective methods of recovery in the world. According to Scientific American, there are approximately 2 million members in AA alone, with over 115,000 groups around the globe. Membership in these groups is free, and the principles of the 12 Steps speak to a desire for spiritual as well as physical healing among recovering addicts.
Twelve-Step meetings don’t work for everyone in recovery, but the popularity of these groups suggests that they are well worth a try. If the first meeting doesn’t resonate with you, try another group before you give up. Meetings can be very different in their tone, membership, and focus, and sometimes it takes more than one attempt to find the right match.