Although statistics do exist for the success rate of AA, it is important to consider that as with all statistics, the results vary based on what and how something is measured. For example success could be “I attended AA and never drank again” or “I attended AA, had a relapse but never drank again” or “I attended AA for many years without success but eventually I never drank again”. These are all success stories, but would generate very different statistics as a measure of success.

It is worthwhile to consider alcohol addiction as a disease in need of medicine: Not every medicine works for every disease, not every medicine works first time and sometimes other diseases may be present alongside which prevent the first one getting better. For example, an individual with mental health problems is unlikely to be able to successfully work the programme until their other concerns are addressed.

There is also the level of involvement with AA to be taken into account. Let’s think in terms of a gym: if I buy a gym membership but don’t bother to go, or go but sit in the sauna relaxing, does that mean the gym is not an effective way to lose weight? The same applies to AA, those who attend regularly and really work at it to the best of their ability, will achieve success.

What are your experiences of AA? Has the programme worked for you? Let us know your thoughts. Alcohol help is available, seek help before it’s too late.