How Long Are AA Meetings?

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Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a free recovery support group that is open to anyone who has a desire to quit drinking. AA was founded in the 1930s. Its 12-step approach to gaining and maintaining sobriety has been so effective that there are now 12-step support groups for nearly every type of addiction. Alcoholics Anonymous is an excellent support resource for anyone involved in or considering a virtual intensive outpatient program.

Our addiction treatment experts at Clear Recovery Center can answer all your questions about AA and addiction recovery. Contact us at 877.799.1985

How Long Are AA Meetings?

There are multiple types of AA meetings, and most are comprised of about an hour of structured meeting time followed by some optional fellowship opportunities. 

AA meetings last about 60 minutes. Some meetings will be slightly longer or shorter depending on the type of meeting. For example, a keynote speaker sharing their remarkable recovery may run over a few minutes. Most facilitators ensure that meetings stick close to the scheduled time. Many people leading busy lives depend on timely meetings, so the group leader usually indicates the length of the meeting in the schedule. 

What to Expect at an AA Meeting

The spiritual and operational foundation of Alcoholics Anonymous is the 12 steps, and the first three steps provide a framework for anyone entering the program. Those first three steps are:

  • Step 1 – Admitting we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives have become unmanageable
  • Step 2 – Coming to believe that a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity
  • Step 3 – Deciding to turn our will and our lives over to the care of that higher power as we understand it

Many people arrive before the meeting to visit, have coffee, peruse AA literature, or make preparations for the meeting. This process is a bit truncated for virtual meetings since people are tuning in from their own homes. 

AA meetings always have a volunteer facilitator who guides the meeting, ensuring that it begins on time, contains all the essential components of an AA meeting, and ends on time. A good facilitator strikes a balance between allowing people to enjoy pre-meeting camaraderie and making sure that it begins on time. People in recovery often seek connection, friendship, and laughter, so pre, and post-meeting fellowship is as vital as the meeting itself. Typically you can expect a meeting to officially begin within 5 minutes of the scheduled start time. 

AA literature is read aloud for the first ten minutes or so of a meeting. This literature usually comprises the 12 Steps of AA and the 12 Traditions of AA. 

Once literature is read, most meetings open up for individuals to share their experiences, questions, and needs. People experiencing a strong urge to drink are especially encouraged to share so that the group can offer them encouragement and support.  

Commonly, no direct advice (crosstalk) is allowed during meetings. However, the sharing of experiences and inspiration are welcomed. Additionally, no one is ever required or pressured into sharing or speaking during meetings. 

After the meeting, there is another opportunity for fellowship wherein people without sponsors are encouraged to mingle and connect with potential sponsors. However, never feel ashamed if you cannot or are not ready to stay and mingle. 

How to Find AA Meetings

Finding an AA meeting near you or online is a simple process. Many recovery facilities and hospitals offer a local AA guide or pamphlets. You can also visit the Alcoholics Anonymous organization website and enter your location info for a comprehensive list of meetings. Additionally, you can find lists of virtual AA meetings attended by people worldwide. 

Contact Clear Recovery Center for AA Meeting Guides and Support

At Clear Recovery Center, we can support you through every aspect of recovery. We offer a variety of resources, programs, addiction treatments, and support in a luxurious environment with numerous comforts and amenities. To learn more, contact us today at 877.799.1985

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