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If you’re thinking about going to AA meetings in Fullerton, congratulations – you’re taking a big step along your recovery journey. In this article, we’ll go over some of the benefits of AA meetings in Fullerton.

What Is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)?

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an international fellowship designed to help individuals struggling with alcoholism achieve sobriety. It is non-professional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are AA meetings in Fullerton, as well as other places throughout California. There are no age or education requirements for AA – membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about their drinking problem.

AA meetings are self-organized by its members and can take various formats, such as open or closed meetings. Open meetings allow attendance by non-alcoholics, while closed meetings are for alcoholics only. Meetings are typically led by AA members who volunteer to serve as a chairperson or speaker. There are no leaders in AA in the conventional sense, as it is a peer-led support group.

The History of Alcoholics Anonymous

AA was founded in 1934 in Akron, Ohio, by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith. Wilson, a New York stockbroker, and Smith, an Akron surgeon, both suffered from chronic alcoholism. They found that by supporting each other, they could maintain sobriety. They wrote a book in 1939 called “Alcoholics Anonymous,” which laid the foundation for important aspects of AA, such as the Twelve Steps.

In 1941, columnist Jack Alexander wrote an article for the Saturday Evening Post about AA, bringing it into the public eye for the first time. The organization continued to grow, and by 1947, AA had become self-sustaining due to donations from members and income from book sales. By 1950, AA helped over 100,000 people. By 1967, AA made a significant global impact, with a membership of over one million and spanning 92 countries and 28,000 groups.

Today, AA is still one of the leading 12-step programs in the country. Some things have changed, however. One is that the group, which was originally open only to men, is now open to both sexes. In fact, one-third of the membership is now women.

AA has also moved away from the language of “curing” alcoholism. We now know alcoholism is more of a chronic disease that cannot be cured so much as managed. Finally, people are less religious now than they were then. As a result, AA’s avowal of a “higher power” is interpreted much more liberally these days.

What is Alcohol Addiction?

Also known as Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), alcohol addiction is a chronic condition in which a person is unable to stop drinking despite the harm it does to their life. The person is both psychologically and physically incapable of abstaining from alcohol while in this state. The negative consequences that can result include severe damage to the body and mind, as well as lost friendships, jobs, and self-esteem.

There are a couple of key features of alcoholism:

  • Cravings – A person with alcohol addiction will experience a heavy psychological and physical urge to drink.
  • Inability to Moderate Drinking – After starting, a person with AUD will keep drinking until they are drunk or passed out.
  • Physical Dependence – If they stop drinking for an extended period, a person with alcohol dependence will experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can include sweating, shaking, nausea, and anxiety and range from unpleasant to potentially deadly.
  • Tolerance – A person with AUD will need to progressively increase their intake of alcohol over time to achieve a baseline feeling of well-being.

Alcohol addiction can lead to numerous health problems, including liver disease, heart disease, digestive problems, and brain damage. It also increases the risk of developing mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety and can exacerbate existing mental health conditions.

The formation of alcoholism is influenced by various factors, including:

  • Genetics
  • Psychology
  • Social environment
  • Culture

Treatment often involves a combination of therapy, medication, support groups, and life.

Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism

Depending on the person, alcoholism can come about slowly or seemingly all at once. Different types of problematic drinking habits can also lead to alcoholism.

Here are some signs and symptoms of alcoholism to be on the lookout for:

  • Frequent Intoxication: Often appears visibly intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol.
  • Drinking Alone: Regularly consumes alcohol alone or in secrecy.
  • Neglecting Responsibilities: Fails to meet professional, academic, or family obligations due to drinking.
  • Legal Problems: Encounters legal issues like DUIs or public disturbances related to alcohol use.
  • Continued Use Despite Problems: Continues to drink even when it causes physical, social, or interpersonal problems.
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Experiences withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, sweating, and nausea when not drinking.
  • Increased Tolerance: Needs to consume more alcohol to achieve the same effects.
  • Unsuccessful Attempts to Cut Down: Has tried but failed to reduce drinking.
  • Excessive Time Spent on Alcohol: Spends a lot of time drinking, obtaining alcohol, or recovering from its effects.
  • Neglecting Interests: Loses interest in activities and hobbies that were once enjoyable.
  • Continued Use in Unsafe Situations: Consumes alcohol in situations where it is physically hazardous.
  • Craving Alcohol: Feels a strong urge or craving to drink alcohol.

Early detection of these symptoms is crucial for prompt assistance and action. It’s critical to get professional assistance if you or someone you love is exhibiting these signs in order to treat alcohol addiction and strive toward a better, alcohol-free life.

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The Effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous

According to a comprehensive analysis done by researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine, the fellowship provided by AA meetings in Fullerton is a powerful tool for maintaining sobriety. This meta-analysis looked at 35 studies comprising over 100,000 participants. It found that AA was more effective than therapy in helping people achieve and maintain abstinence. What’s more, the meta-analysis also found AA lowers healthcare costs.

The results of this analysis speak to just how important socialization is. AA meetings in Fullerton give people access to fellowship, emotional support, and even practical tips on recovery from other members.

Humans are social beings – we need people, especially when we are going through hard times. Twelve-step programs like AA provide much-needed social interaction, which can make a significant difference in recovery.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings in Fullerton can be highly beneficial for individuals struggling with alcohol dependency or addiction. The effectiveness of AA meetings can vary from person to person, but they offer several potential benefits:

Supportive Community

AA meetings provide a community of individuals who are facing similar challenges. This supportive environment can help reduce feelings of isolation and provide a sense of belonging.

Shared Experiences

Members share their experiences, strengths, and hopes. This sharing can be therapeutic and help individuals understand that they are not alone in their struggles.

Anonymity and Confidentiality

AA meetings in Fullerton offer a safe space where individuals can discuss their issues without fear of judgment. The principle of anonymity helps maintain the confidentiality and comfort of participants.

Structure and Routine

Regular meetings provide a sense of structure and routine, which can be important in recovery. The 12-step program of AA, in particular, offers a framework for understanding and addressing alcohol dependency.

Peer Support

Peer-led support in AA meetings in Fullerton allows individuals to receive and offer advice and encouragement. This peer support is often instrumental in helping members stay sober.


AA meetings in Fullerton are widely accessible and usually free of charge, making them a readily available resource for anyone seeking help.

Sponsorship System

AA offers a sponsorship system where a new member can be paired with a more experienced member (sponsor) for guidance, support, and accountability.

Spiritual Aspect

Although not religious, AA does incorporate spiritual principles, which can be beneficial for those who find strength and comfort in spirituality.

Long-term Support

AA provides long-term support, which can be critical for maintaining sobriety. Unlike some short-term treatment programs, AA is available for as long as an individual needs it.

Improved Well-being

Participation in AA can lead to improved physical and mental health, better relationships, and a more stable lifestyle.

Remember, the effectiveness of attending AA meetings in Fullerton can depend on your commitment and the compatibility of AA with your needs. It’s also important to note that while AA can be a vital part of recovery, some individuals may also benefit from additional treatments such as therapy or medical interventions.

Can Go to AA Meetings Cure Alcoholism?

Going to AA meetings in Fullerton is a great start to your recovery journey – but it’s only a start.

It’s important to understand that AA alone may not “cure” alcoholism. This is a chronic condition, and managing it requires a comprehensive, multifaceted approach.

AA meetings in Fullerton will likely be just one part of your overall addiction treatment plan. Other forms of treatment may include medical interventions, therapy, and lifestyle changes. The supportive community of AA can complement those other treatments.

Because alcoholism is a lifelong condition, AA focuses on continuous management and recovery rather than a cure. The 12-step program is there to change personal habits and spark growth and accountability.

Going to AA meetings in Fullerton can also help you access a strong network of peer support which is a crucial element for many in recovery. This support can offer motivation, understanding, and a sense of community that can mean the difference between treatment success and failure.

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Alcoholism Treatment at South Coast Behavioral Health

If you or someone you care about is struggling with alcohol addiction, South Coast Behavioral Health is here for you. We offer a full spectrum of treatment, starting with our clinically-certified medical detox program. After going through an individualized assessment, you’ll be afforded the best in medical care as you detox. Our detox professionals can treat any withdrawal symptoms you may experience.

Our medical detox centers in Irvine and Huntington Beach are gender-specific: Medical Detox for Women is offered in Huntington Beach and Medical Detox for Men is offered in Irvine.

Aside from being gender-specific, here are some other benefits to our Detox Program:

  • Personalized treatment plans
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Master’s level, licensed and certified clinicians
  • Full continuum of care
  • Trauma-informed treatment services
  • Traditional, evidence-based therapies
  • Holistic and wellness services
  • Comfortable rehab facilities
  • Family involvement
  • Alumni services


After completing medical detox, you’ll then proceed through our full treatment program.

This includes:


While with us, you will participate in 12-step meetings, attend individual and group therapy sessions, as well as utilize holistic and wellness services.

Get Help Staying Sober at South Coast Today

AA meetings in Fullerton are a good start to treatment but if you seek more support South Coast is here for you. Call us at 866-881-1184 or contact us here. Our highly qualified staff will be happy to help allay any doubts you may have.

Pierce Willans
Kelly McIntyre
Medically Reviewed by Kelly McIntyre, MS, LMFT
Read More About addiction Treatment & Recovery
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