Author: Gary Jackson

History of Alcoholics Anonymous Wikipedia

Is there a case to be made that we are simply keeping pace with an aging population? Americans and AA members have maintained the same pace over the last 31 years (AAs being 32% older that the average American in both 1983 and 2014). So it looks like we’re getting older, but so is everyone.

For those struggling with alcohol use disorder, or alcoholism, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an international organization of peer groups meet to support each other. Members meet regularly to discuss issues and concerns related to their addiction and to support one another through triumphs and relapses. Generally, more seasoned group members “sponsor” newer members, guiding them through the process of “working the steps” to help on alcohol rehabilitation. Some members may experience accessibility challenges to participation in A.A., including physical, mental, geographic, cultural, or other factors that vary among people.

International Conference of Secular AA

The younger generation almost always looks to the future with optimism. I put the question of dwindling AA membership to Shelly, Bruce and Mark who co-host arguably the most successful and longest running addiction/recovery podcasts going, Recovery 101. They are over 900 episodes into this meeting after the meeting format. They, and their listeners, represent a younger generation of 12-Step culture who embrace new mediums of recovery and community. What did they think of sagging AA membership numbers?

how many members are in aa

In-home entertainment ramped up TV screen sizes. VCRs and 150 channels offered more reasons to stay home and watch something. Formed in 1895, The Bowling Congress of America (BCA) enjoyed a 400% membership surge in the early 40s (at the same time AA was growing). BCA membership plateaued in 1964 and lost 72% of members by 1997. At BCA’s peak, they attracted 83 out of every 1,000 males over 20 years-of-age.

Past Surveys

Has cooperated with the professional community. Benefited from medical treatment for his alcoholism. After he had finally put together several months of sobriety, Bill returned to the hospital that helped him to work with other alcoholics, marking the beginning of A.A.’s Twelfth Step work in these types of facilities. While almost a third of members decide to attend their first meeting on their own, others find their way to A.A.

  • Online meetings are digital meetings held on platforms such as Zoom.
  • BCA membership plateaued in 1964 and lost 72% of members by 1997.
  • American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information.
  • Membership in professional organizations has lost its glitter, too.

Whatever the access barrier may be, the goal of members and Accessibilities Committees throughout the A.A. Service structure is to find solutions to help ensure every alcoholic can participate in meetings, Twelfth Step work, and service. Many groups use the Accessibilities Checklist to help assess and enhance their level of accessibility.