How to Find an AA Meeting in Ohio

Finding an AA Meeting in Ohio

If you find yourself consuming high amounts of alcohol to the point that you regularly become drunk or experience blackouts, it may be time to seek treatment in the form of AA meetings. These meetings can be administered during the initial stages of treatment or after you’ve completed an inpatient or outpatient treatment program from a treatment provider like White Light Behavioral Health. If you want to find an AA meeting near your location in Ohio, there are several steps you should take to make sure that the AA meeting you select is right for you and your situation. 

What Is AA?

Alcoholics Anonymous involves meetings of people who are trying to resolve their drinking issues. Keep in mind that AA meetings don’t cost anything to attend. There are also no education or age requirements that you must meet if you want to participate. The main goal of AA is to help people who are experiencing alcohol use disorder reach sobriety.

Signs of an Alcohol Use Disorder

If you or someone close to you has been drinking heavily, there are numerous signs that indicate you may be experiencing an alcohol use disorder. Keep in mind that these disorders can be anywhere from mild to severe in how serious the symptoms are. The primary signs of an alcohol use disorder include:

  • Not having control over how much you drink
  • Spending a considerable amount of time drinking
  • Having difficulties with reducing the amount of alcohol you consume
  • Having a desire to drink alcohol
  • Drinking alcohol regularly even though it’s causing social, relationship, or physical problems
  • Not meeting work or school obligations
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Being affected by such withdrawal symptoms as shaking, nausea, and sweating

When looking specifically at alcohol withdrawal, this issue can occur following consistent use of alcohol over an extended period of time. However, it’s possible for symptoms to start anywhere from a few hours after your last drink to several days later. The main signs of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Hallucinations
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures

Why Is AA Important?

When a person seeks treatment for a drug use disorder or alcohol use disorder, group meetings and therapy sessions are a large part of the treatment process. Being among people who are going through the same issues that you are can create a more supportive environment, which is the same kind of atmosphere that’s available through Alcoholics Anonymous. 

It’s important to understand that sobriety isn’t the opposite of a substance use disorder. Not drinking alcohol doesn’t mean that you’re no longer affected by a substance use disorder. Instead, it means that you are taking steps to lead a life that’s free from alcohol. 

It’s believed that AA can provide a level of connection by speaking to people who you are comfortable with. The connections that are built during AA meetings are a key component of treatment for alcohol use disorder. During these meetings, it’s common for people to share their stories, which makes them feel like they’re part of the meeting and are contributing something of worth.

Reasons to Attend AA Meetings

There are many reasons why you should consider attending AA meetings if you believe that you’re currently consuming too much alcohol on a regular basis. Combining inpatient or outpatient treatment with AA meetings may help you maintain abstinence on a long-term basis. 

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism held a study that showed that individuals who suffered from an alcohol use disorder and took part in treatment, as well as AA meetings, had a higher likelihood of not drinking alcohol in the three years following treatment. This study was held over a period of eight years. At the end of the study, people who received both forms of treatment had a considerably higher rate of abstaining than people who didn’t. 

According to this study, the effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous might not be the result of the process or content within the program. Instead, it could be the ability the program has to provide clients with long-term and completely free access to therapeutic treatment that can be self-regulated. Some of the primary benefits associated with AA meetings include:

  • People have no obligation to attend meetings
  • AA meetings are 100% free
  • Meetings can be attended at any AA location and as often as you prefer
  • You’re able to maintain anonymity
  • Questions are never too intrusive
  • These meetings are available to everyone regardless of beliefs, race, or religion
  • Anyone who attends gains access to a broad network of support

What to Expect From AA Meetings

Before you start searching for AA meetings to attend in Ohio, you might want to know more about what these meetings entail. These meetings are commonly held in community centers, churches, or similar buildings. Most meetings consist of a small number of people who chat, sit quietly, or drink coffee before the meeting begins. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, online AA meetings became more widespread as well, which gives you the opportunity to attend the meeting while in your own home.

Once the meeting starts, attendees typically sit in chairs that are situated in a semi-circle. A group leader will be in charge of managing the meeting. It’s common for members of the AA group to recite passages that come directly from the Big Book, which includes the 12 promises and the 12 traditions. 

There are different types of AA meetings that can be held. For instance, it’s possible for a Step Study meeting to occur, which involves a discussion of the 12 steps that Alcoholics Anonymous is based around. The most common type of AA meeting is an open meeting wherein members are able to speak about every facet of their recovery. The meeting only comes to a close when everyone who’s looking to speak about their experiences is finished. Most AA meetings last for approximately one hour.

Where to Go to Find AA Meetings in Ohio

There are several methods you can use when you want to find an AA meeting in Ohio. Likely the simplest and most straightforward method is to search for meetings on the Alcoholics Anonymous website, which gives you the ability to search for meetings in many Ohio cities. You can even set specific parameters for your search, the primary of which involves the distance to the AA meeting from where you live.

As touched upon previously, these meetings can be held in a variety of formats, which extend to in-person, group emails, chatrooms, online video conferencing, and phone conferencing. You can select the environment that you believe will suit your ongoing treatment needs. Virtual meetings may be ideal for people with physical disabilities, transportation problems, or busy schedules. 

How to Choose the Right Meeting

While there are many tools at your disposal that make it easier to find AA meetings in Ohio, you may want to do more research to find the AA meeting that’s right for you. This may only be possible by attending various meetings to see which one fits best. Don’t be discouraged if you attend a meeting that you don’t necessarily enjoy. There are several steps you can take to narrow your options. 

Size of Meeting

First, consider the size of the AA meeting. Some people will be more comfortable in a setting that accommodates larger groups. If you don’t want an intimate setting as you attend AA, a larger group may be preferable. In many cases, the size of a group depends on where you live and when you attend the meeting. An AA meeting in a city will likely be larger than one held in a rural location. 

Possibility for Growth

You should also consider the possibility of growth. Do you find that the people in your group are encouraged about their progress and engaged with the meetings? If not, the AA meeting you’re attending might not be the right solution for you. As mentioned previously, being in a group environment with people who are also doing their best to avoid drinking alcohol can create a base of support. If you’re attending a meeting with people who aren’t interested in growing, this base of support may not exist.

Group Environment

When you’re searching for the best group environment that will provide you with a more positive experience, look for one that regularly offers advice and has numerous people willingly speak during the meetings. You can discover if the people in your group are motivated to continue attending AA meetings and leading a sober lifestyle during the pre-meeting gathering. You should be able to determine if you’d like to share your ongoing recovery with these individuals.

Educational Tools

It’s estimated that there are more than 123,000 AA meetings that are held all throughout the world, many of which are in the U.S. Each meeting is unique and will include an array of different discussions. Even though these meetings can differ substantially, there are certain educational tools that should be available in every meeting. 

For one, the AA Big Book should be provided to attendees. Other educational materials that revolve around staying sober may also be accessed during a meeting. If you feel as though you’re not learning anything when attending AA meetings, it might be time to stop by a different meeting. 

AA meetings are often used by people who have completed an outpatient or inpatient treatment program and are looking to continue maintaining their sober lifestyle following the initial treatment. Finding an AA meeting in Ohio is as easy as searching for one via the Alcoholics Anonymous website. If you are struggling with an addiction to alcohol and need help finding resources to aid in your recovery, the team at White Light Behavioral Health in Columbus, Ohio is available to help. We can discuss your treatment and recovery options and connect you to resources in your community.

Ohio AA Meetings

Reviewed By:

Dr. Ryan Wakim, M.D.

Dr. Wakim is a board-certified psychiatrist with a passion for and expertise in addiction, mood disorders, trauma-related disorders and the subspecialty of interventional psychiatry. He obtained his medical degree from West Virginia University where he also completed his residency training, finishing as chief resident. Dr. Wakim co-founded and served as the CEO of Transformations leading to a successful merger with Shore Capital in May 2021. He is purpose driven towards improving the standard of and removing stigma related to behavioral healthcare. Dr. Wakim enjoys golf, traveling and time spent with his two dogs, Lulu and Rayna.

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