support group therapy session utilized in Alaska alcohol treatment

What Is Alcoholics Anonymous?

In the process of researching Alaska alcohol treatment centers, you will likely come across many facilities that advertise their use of 12-step programs. Even those new to recovery likely recognize this as a reference to the step-based program of Alcoholics Anonymous. As one of the earliest methods of addiction recovery to yield widespread results, AA has become a staple feature of modern alcohol treatment programs. Those in need of Alaska alcohol treatment would do well to learn more about this program, and to decide for themselves whether they wish to seek treatment at a facility that provides access to 12-step meetings.

What is Alcoholics Anonymous?

Many 12-step programs exist for various forms of addiction, but AA pioneered the format decades ago. In 1935, those who suffered from alcohol addiction often found themselves incarcerated, hospitalized, dead or committed to a mental institution. This simple program, relying on nothing more than the sharing of mutual experiences and a step-based program of personal discovery and spiritual growth, helped change the face of alcoholism treatment across the globe. By working with a sponsor, developing a program of honesty and putting faith in something greater than themselves, AA members learn to quit drinking one day at a time.

Numerous Alaska alcohol treatment facilities use AA and other 12-step programs as their model of recovery. Some AA members do not approve of treatment, believing that Alcoholics Anonymous alone should be enough. Unfortunately, Alcoholics Anonymous in Alaska is harder to come by than one might expect.

Alaska’s Need for AA-Based Treatment

Generally speaking, a person might assume that AA attendance would rise in areas with greater rates of alcohol dependence. Alaska, however, is another story entirely.

The 2015 behavioral health barometer certainly illustrates a clear need for Alaska alcohol treatment. Since 2010, Alaska’s rates of alcohol dependence and abuse have remained higher than the national average. Given that nearly 90% of Alaskan alcoholics receive no formal treatment, programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous would be their only alternative source of recovery.

As it turns out, rates of AA attendance in Alaska are even lower than rates of substance treatment. In 2015, an AA financial report listed Alaska’s membership as just over 3,000 people—approximately 0.4% of the state’s population for that year. During that same year, Department of Health statistics estimated that more potential years of life were lost to alcohol than to stroke, respiratory disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes combined.

Between high rates of alcohol-induced death and low rates of Alaska alcohol treatment admissions, AA attendance should seemingly be much higher. Nonetheless, while Alaskans may not seek Alcoholics Anonymous on their own, Alaska alcohol treatment facilities can still provide access to those who desire it.

Finding AA in Alaska Alcohol Treatment

There may be fewer AA groups in Alaska than other states, but you can still attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings at any Alaska alcohol treatment facility that offers them. Better yet, you can overcome the limited AA resources of the state by seeking treatment at a facility elsewhere. States such as California and Washington have larger AA communities, and their treatment facilities do not struggle as often to provide placement. Not only does Alaska have a smaller AA community, but many Alaska alcohol treatment facilities—while definitely worth the wait in terms of quality—have wait lists that will not appeal to those who need help immediately.

Aspire Health Network’s facilities offer the same high quality with less wait time and more access to 12-step meetings. Furthermore, the staff at our facilities are well aware of the problems with alcohol addiction in Alaska. Understanding the causes of Alaska addiction is the first step to treating the underlying issues behind the substance abuse.

Not only will a facility such as Aspire Treatment Center help you to understand the thought processes that lead to addictive behaviors, but we will also provide you with access to holistic remedies such as yoga and nature walks alongside our more traditional forms of therapy. Meanwhile, access to AA meetings will allow you to build a network of supportive peers in recovery.

If you need Alaska alcohol treatment and are thinking of looking out of state, contact us or browse our resources on Alaska addiction treatment for more information. We will help you find the resources you need to begin your recovery as soon as possible.