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CHESTER CONFERENCE APRIL 2014 The Potential Role of Mutual Aid Groups/Programmes An Alcoholics Anonymous Board Member’s Perspective.

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Presentation on theme: "CHESTER CONFERENCE APRIL 2014 The Potential Role of Mutual Aid Groups/Programmes An Alcoholics Anonymous Board Member’s Perspective."— Presentation transcript:

1 CHESTER CONFERENCE APRIL 2014 The Potential Role of Mutual Aid Groups/Programmes An Alcoholics Anonymous Board Member’s Perspective

2 OVERVIEW Summary of the AA Programme Recovery in AA The AA service structure How we relate to society Cooperation with the professional community

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4 THE AA PROGRAMME Acknowledging that we have a problem and are willing to address it Admitting that we can’t overcome our problem on our own (“I can’t, we can”) Working with a sponsor we undertake an analysis of our emotions and behaviours Making amends to the people to whom we have caused hurt

5 THE AA PROGRAMME Being willing to change in our emotional and behavioural responding to others by drawing strength and guidance from a power greater than ourselves in our daily lives Carrying the AA message to others, and being available to anyone who is interested in what we have to offer

6 RECOVERY IN ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS Alcoholics in recovery pass on their stories AA’s 12 Steps describe the early members’ experiences Newcomers are introduced to the Steps gradually, but are asked to: – Keep an open mind – Attend regular meetings – Read AA literature Not a cure – more of a daily arrestment – “One day at a time”

7 SPIRITUALITY Spirituality: “…more a process of awakening to an inner source of guidance, strength and wisdom which, when drawn upon, can help the lives of people in recovery take on new meaning” (A Message to Professionals)

8 THE SPIRITUAL AWAKENING Spiritual awakening as personality change “With few exceptions our members find that they have tapped an unsuspected inner resource which they presently identify with their own conception of a Power greater than themselves” Alcoholics Anonymous, pp (aka Big Book) Alteration in the way one thinks, speaks and acts

9 FRUITS OF RECOVERY Not taking an alcoholic drink, one day at a time Strong sense of hope, strength, achievement and happiness amongst group members Members encouraged by the example of others Overcome problems by learning more of ourselves: – Self-acceptance – Overcoming fear and low self-esteem – Alternative ways of coping Developing new meaning in life ‘A bridge to normal living’

10 AA Meetings Each meeting is a self-supporting and self- governing entity The group conscience decides how the meeting will be structured. All group service posts are rotational New members are encouraged to have a sponsor for support and to guide them through the AA Programme Groups can be open or closed; there may also be groups that are held for certain demographics (age, gender, sexual orientation, etc.)

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13 GROUPS (c 4300) REGIONS (15) GENERAL SERVICE CONFERENCE GENERAL SERVICE BOARD INTERGROUPS (120)

14 SERVICE LIAISON POSITIONS Public Information Prisons Health Probation/Criminal Justice Services Employment Armed Services

15 WHERE WE OPERATE Talks to and liaison with (amongst others): psychiatrists and GPs occupational health services in-patient facilities substance misuse services detoxification facilities forensic mental health services starting meetings in treatment facilities

16 CONFERENCES Displays at various events including: Nursing in Practice in various locations Health & Wellbeing at Work Unison Health Conference Royal College of General Practitioners British Medical Association Primary Care & Public Health Tackling Drug and Alcohol Misuse

17 PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND Improving Mutual Aid Engagement Mutual Aid Reference Group Ensure AA is accurately represented; safeguard Traditions; inform Fellowship of progress Strategic Action Plan and other documents, esp. Facilitating Access to Mutual Aid

18 THE WORK TO DATE London-wide conference London Boroughs of Islington, Croydon, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Wandsworth and Hayes; Westminster and Camden pending AA Health Liaison Officer participation at all events Outside London: West Midlands More sites being identified

19 RESOURCES Literature on display table


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