If you are concerned about entering a rehabilitation programme, or simply an AA meeting, you may be worried if it will interfere with your religion or perhaps your moral beliefs. Every person facing alcohol addiction, regardless of their race, religion or background, is entitled to help and should always reach out in times of need.

If you have a specific religious belief and you’re concerned about speaking out about your issue, then this is the article for you.

Recovery programmes are often run holistically. This essentially means that not only is it tailor-made to your specific requirements, but it is completed without any pressure and is implemented with the spirit and mind at the core of the programme. If you have ever encountered any issues with any professional individual who has not been able to assist your needs, then now is the time to reach out to the ones who can. Are you wondering if Alcoholics Anonymous is religious? Find out here.

Is Alcoholics Anonymous a Religious Programme?

Is Alcoholics Anonymous Religious? Well, AA meetings, in theory, are not religious but do require a level of spirituality. They are completely voluntary and rely mostly on your commitment. During AA meetings, you will meet other people, share your story (if you feel ready) and get helpful information, books, leaflets and a community in which to begin your recovery journey.

Alcoholics Anonymous is not a religious programme. It is incredibly neutral and is simply a safe space to come in order to heal from alcohol abuse. Oftentimes, it is referred to as a spiritual journey because you can come to terms with your inner self, and learn about the issues that you need to work through.

Do You Have to Be Religious for Alcoholics Anonymous?

The simple answer is no, you do not need to be religious to attend AA meetings. There is no need to worry about this interfering with your religion, or being a new religion that you have to adhere to. There is no need to feel as if you’re joining a new religious path or cult.

Simply, Alcoholics Anonymous is a group of like-minded individuals who want to help and are willing and ready to start a journey of health together. There is no judging others’ religions or beliefs. AA is a holistic start to sobriety, with a focus on spirituality, learning your core strengths and building on the life skills you have.

The Role of Spirituality in Alcoholics Anonymous

Spirituality plays a big role in AA because it helps you delve deep within yourself to ask some profound questions about the reasons you’re abusing alcohol. Following a dedicated few weeks or months at Alcoholics Anonymous, people often find that they have already spiritually changed, have learned numerous new things about themselves and feel ready to commit to a long-term plan for sobriety.

Finding others in a similar situation also makes people suffering from addiction feel less alone. You can connect or reconnect with others, find a sense of belonging and therefore engage with the parts of your mind and soul that you haven’t tapped into for a while. AA is not a religious practice but rather encourages you to utilise any of your inner beliefs to channel into a positive new mindset. Alcoholics Anonymous and religion do not have to crossover.

How the 12-Step Recovery Programme Works

Many people facing addiction will enter into a 12-step recovery programme which allows the person to make conscious decisions for the better. It is a way to reach within yourself in order to change thought processes and find a higher self. AA religion is a new method of thinking and feeling, in order to deal with your problem. The steps are as follows:

  1. Accepting the problem: admitting that there is an issue and that it must be dealt with
  2. Having faith and belief: this may be in yourself, a higher power or a spiritual element
  3. Commit to change: once you find the belief and admit the problem, you must ensure that you are prepared to make the change for your health
  4. Soul searching or finding yourself: this may be alone or with the help of others, which helps you find a life purpose and an inner sense of calm
  5. Admitting errors may occur: being aware of failures and accepting them is a big step in feeling comfortable in yourself
  6. Challenging yourself: letting go of the feelings and the way in which you act and behave are both very important elements
  7. Show willingness: accept that you need help and be open to asking for it, this may be from anyone but often it will be a professional body or team
  8. Embrace the idea: work out a life path and the people who you feel will help you on the journey
  9. Make amends: healing bonds and working on broken relationships and past traumas will allow you to create a healing space and good energy in your life
  10. Check-in with yourself: maintain a holistic approach to change, but also be sure that you are doing ok with your mental health along the way
  11. Create a plan: your life purpose can be implemented with a plan that allows you to explore and begin this journey
  12. Share the message: open up about your struggles, and speak openly and freely in order to heal and help others with their journey also

Alternatives to Spirituality in Recovery: Secular Support Groups

There are alternatives to spiritual and holistic recovery paths. Oftentimes, people simply want that level of support that keeps them from taking their next sip or high. There are other secular recovery groups that can also provide you with support. These are less holistic and provide you with basic information and a level of aid that may help you to discover your own pathway to sobriety. Addiction is a disease and must be shared and dealt with appropriately.

You may want to consider inpatient rehabilitation programmes, also known as private alcohol rehab for example, or simply join online groups and local centres that will offer you some instant support. Gaining information is the first place to start if you wish to become sober. For more information on how to get help for yourself or someone you know, please contact us on 0800 012 6088 or fill out our contact form.