The Treatment and Accessibility Committee meets the 3rd Wednesday monthly (7:30pm) at the Alano Club, 10728 124 Street
Why A.A. Members Carry the Message Into Treatment Facilities and Outpatient Settings
Since its beginning in 1935, the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous has cooperated with treatment facilities. Bill W. himself was a product of a treatment facility—Towns Hospital in New York City. After he had finally put together several months of sobriety, Bill returned to Towns to try to work with other alcoholics. This was the beginning of A.A.’s Twelfth Step work in hospitals.
After he sobered up, Dr. Bob, a surgeon, realized the need for an alcoholism ward at St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, Ohio, where he worked. With the loving assistance and dedication of Sister Ignatia, Dr. Bob established a ward for alcoholics; together, they reached over 5,000 alcoholics. The principle of carrying the A.A. message to other alcoholics was fundamental to the recovery and continued sobriety of A.A.’s co-founders and early A.A. members.
Today, through the practice of this principle—the Twelfth Step—A.A. has grown and the A.A. message has been carried around the world. A.A.s who carry the message into treatment facilities and outpatient settings continue to follow the path for sobriety laid out by A.A.’s co-founders. These A.A.s help alcoholics in treatment recover through the A.A. program and find happy, useful, sober lives. In the past two decades, some areas of the U.S. and Canada have experienced considerable changes regarding treatment services provided, by whom, and in which settings. In response to a 2005 questionnaire, some of these committee members say that they are finding more women and young people in treatment, more clients with drug problems and mental illness, and higher bottoms. Some committees have noticed that the number of inpatient facilities has decreased and the number of outpatient facilities has increased. Other committees mention shorter stays in treatment, reduced insurance coverage, and more Narcotics Anonymous (and other fellowships) meetings. Still other committees have found that more alcoholics are seeking treatment in individual or group therapy. Some committee members have told G.S.O. that they are encountering less understanding of the difference between treatment and A.A. and of the difference between A.A. and other Twelve-Step fellowships.
On the other hand, some Treatment Committees say that the treatment settings have not changed much in their areas in the past ten to fifteen years, or that services have increased. Each local committee may wish to inventory which types of treatment exist in their community so that they can effectively present A.A. to the professionals who work in these settings and to alcoholics seeking professional treatment.
If you want to get involved in carrying the message to Treatment Facilities, please leave your information at Edmonton A.A. Central Office.