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Lawrence, KS, 03, LS
(AA) is an informal society of men and women who support each
other in their efforts to achieve and maintain sobriety. AA was
formed in 1935 in Akron, Ohio when Dr. Bob S., a surgeon in Akron,
was inspired to stop drinking by Bill W., a New York stockbroker,
who shared with Dr. Bob his story of recovery. Bill W. had been
working with Dr, Samuel Shoemaker, an Episcopal clergyman, who
helped Bill get sober by viewing alcoholism as a disease of the
mind, body and emotions that yet could be suppressed through discovering
a spiritual centeredness. Dr. Shoemaker encouraged Bill to provide
service to other alcoholics as a vehicle for maintaining his sobriety.
Dr. Bob attributed his newfound sobriety to Bill's perspective
on alcoholism as a disease and the profound effect of Bill sharing
his story of recovery. The two began working with alcoholics at
Akron hospital, and soon after formed Alcoholics Anonymous.
Today, membership is estimated
at over 2,000,000. Yet the basic tenets remain the same. Individuals
gather together on a regular basis to share their experiences,
and thus, offer each other strength, hope, support, and inspiration.
The road to recovery is based upon a Twelve Step process in which
one of the steps asks the participant to seek this spiritual centeredness
through giving oneself over to a higher power. They describe their
organization as a fellowship of men and women. There are no dues
or fees (being self supporting through voluntary contributions)
and there are no requirements for joining except for the expressed
desire to stop drinking.