Addiction Treatment

Celebrating 80 Years of AA

Written By:

Becky Babb

Celebrating 80 Years of AA

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) turned 80 years old in June, 2015. Originally formed in 1935, the focus was on providing aid to those struggling with alcoholism with the basic principle of one alcoholic helping another.


Bill Wilson was a stockbroker in 1935. He struggled with a severe addiction to alcohol but it was not seen as an addiction back then. Eventually he found himself in the care of Dr. William Silkworth at Towns Hospital in Akron Ohio. Dr. Silkworth was a physician who treated alcoholics for decades. Bill later ran into an old friend of his who informed him of a group that helped him with sobriety called the Oxford Group. He had what he considered a ‘spiritual experience’ which lifted his dependence on alcohol while at Towns Hospital. Bill realized he was able to help more people by sharing his story rather than his spiritual experience. He soon met Dr. Bob, a suffering alcoholic, while Bill was on business and found himself struggling to defend himself against taking the first drink back into the pits of alcoholic despair. The two sat and talked at length about their peculiar situations as alcoholics. Such relief and camaraderie was found between the two that they decided to invite others. This formed the basis of Alcoholics Anonymous as we know it today- two alcoholics talking about their common problem of alcohol.

Present Day

The “Big Book”, “Alcoholics Anonymous” was published in 1939 which utilized a 12-step model of recovery for alcoholics. What began as a movement to support alcoholics has grown internationally. Daily meetings are held worldwide with no fees required to join. The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop drinking. Many other 12-step programs are modeled after AA and have helped people feel supported in the recovery process.Alcoholics Anonymous has the ability to transcend most barriers of race, creed and language. Since its inception, millions have been helped with its program, all over the world. What is truly significant about the impact of AA is how it changed an entire culture. Prior to the development of AA, alcoholism was seen as a lack of willpower and a moral dysfunction. Today, anyone struggling with addiction to alcohol is able to receive support and connection to others who understand what they are going through because one alcoholic reached out to another. The Last Resort believes in the power of Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 steps. We incorporate the 12 step model into our program of treatment. Call us today for more information on how AA and the 12 steps at The Last Resort can help you get and stay sober 512-750-6750

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