What is an AA Chat Room?
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) chats are a service designed for recovering alcoholics or those who wish to recover from alcohol abuse, to access AA resources in an entirely online format.
AA chat rooms primarily serve to provide a safe and supportive space for AA members, or any individual with a history of alcoholism, to connect with and support each other.
The tool is meant to be inclusive and is open to anyone who seeks to quit drinking, even those who are not active members of Alcoholics Anonymous. In fact, the only requirement to be able to acquire an AA membership is a desire to completely stop drinking.
What is Alcoholics Anonymous?
Prioritizing an abstinence-based approach to overcoming alcohol abuse, Alcoholics Anonymous is an international, spiritually based Twelve-Step substance abuse recovery program.
While AA chats is not officially affiliated with this organization, the website does host online meetings with an official Alcoholics Anonymous group. These anonymous meetings usually occur on a daily basis throughout the week, with several time options available. You can find more information about when these AA meetings are held here.
Code of Conduct for AA Chat Rooms
While these chat rooms are open to anyone who wishes to stop drinking, because they are an open recovery chat service, there are certain behavioral guidelines that users are expected to adhere to. Some of these include:
- Remaining polite and civil while engaging with others.
- Post appropriate content.
- Joining and staying in chat rooms for the right reasons.
- Refraining from discussing engaging in drinking behaviors, or any other form of drug abuse.
Why Should You Join an AA Chat Room
We understand that life gets crazy; and, to be entirely transparent, it is especially difficult to attend AA meetings these days. You have family events, a career, or even challenges in getting transportation to your meetings – never mind the threat of Covid-19 looming over many physical gatherings.
However, it is critical that you follow the Alcoholics Anonymous system and recommendations to the letter, whether in ‘real-life’ meetings or online.
An online chat format could be an acceptable alternative for you, your loved one, or a family member if you (or they) are unable to attend physical meetings for any reason.
Of course, these chat sessions may not be as effective as an in-person meeting. However, you can still reap the benefits of the support of others who understand your situation.
Being Aware of the Risks
While chat rooms can be a convenient tool for recovering alcoholics, it is important to bear in mind factors that can impact their effectiveness. When you are communicating with others in a chat room, it is hard to be certain who you are really talking to.
Even emoji for drugs and alcohol-related activities are gaining prevalence online, so make sure to educate yourself and be aware of both the verbal and visual meanings of what others are sharing in chats.
Many shady people get a charge out of assuming alternate identities online for one reason or another. It is crucial not to let them derail your progress! Knowing the signs of shady internet activity can help you avoid some pitfalls, and better focus on recovery.
How Do You Choose Among AA Chat Rooms?
If you are unable to attend a physical meeting, online AA chat rooms could be a convenient alternative. Here are three essential tips for taking advantage of this online solution.
Consider Your Sources of Information in AA Chat Rooms
First off, be advised that AA does not have a sanctioned chat room. With that being said, aa-intergroup.org and other sites like ‘In the Rooms,’ seem to share core values with Alcoholics Anonymous as an institution of recovery, and allow you to choose from several online AA chat forums.
As previously stated, being aware of the risks of online support groups is always important. Remember your AA steps and follow your own gut instincts. If someone seems to be just a little bit “off” to you, proceed with extreme caution. Ask questions to verify their level of sincerity. If you still feel like that person is out of line, leave the chat room.
While it is natural to want to preserve someone else’s feelings, your recovery is your top priority. Just as you avoid people and places that are not supportive of your sobriety in the physical world, you must do the same when online.
Identify a Good Support Network
Because you can never be too certain of whom you are speaking with, it can be hard to build trustworthy support in an online AA chat venue. So when you have found a good support network online, continue to work at kindling those relationships.
Of course, it is important to remember that in order to make a friend, you must also be a friend.
When you promise to login and chat, do so. Of course, sometimes things come up; that is just how life goes. In the event that you are unable to make it to a designated meeting time, make sure you do your best in letting the other person know.
Furthermore, always remember to listen to others respectfully, as if the other person was in a physical meeting with you. Everyone’s recovery journey is their own, and you are not required to become friends with everyone you come across in a chat room. You do, however, owe others a general level of consideration and space to express themselves.
Remember that you can disconnect from the network if things go wrong. You also have the ability to choose from other AA chat spaces online, as well as a host of Al Anon, Narcotics Anonymous, and other 12-step meetings now available.
Continue to place priority on your own recovery. Whether this involves finding an online mentor, or even becoming a mentor to a newer member, connecting with people who share the same values and goals as you is a critical step in establishing a true support system.
Remember to Do Your Homework
If you are attending AA online, do not forget that completing all of your steps remains a priority. Chat rooms of any kind are no substitute for reading the Big Book and working the steps, not to mention working with a sponsor; whether this be online or locally.
Recommit yourself to your Higher Power, to the AA program, and to progress in your recovery by working on the steps. Read affirmations every day. Consider how to stay on track with the program every day. Participating in your recovery daily is a key factor in achieving sobriety once and for all. However, the program that works for you is fine, as long as you are working towards your final goal.
Speak With An Addiction Specialist
Supporting a Recovering Alcoholic
When it comes to families and friends of addicted individuals, it can be particularly difficult to cope with the challenges alcoholism can present. That is why AA chat rooms have made an effort to incorporate the loved ones of recovering alcoholics in helping them to acknowledge and overcome their dependency.
You can find more information on helping family members or friends overcome addiction here.
AA Chat Rooms as a Secondary Treatment Method
When it comes to recovering from alcoholism, individuals are encouraged to embrace the idea of using AA chat rooms as an additional support system to help them commit to sobriety.
Online AA chat rooms can be a great stop-gap measure for support in between in-person meetings. However, they should really only be considered a supplement to, rather than a replacement for, your meetings. In the long run, you know deep inside what is best for you.
Be brave enough to use a chat room but discerning enough to know when something is amiss. It is also important to remember that the key to staying abstinent, no matter how difficult the day, is not picking up that drink (or drug) in the first place. Reach out, whether it is online, to a fellow in recovery, or to our team at Find Addiction Rehabs, and we will be more than happy to listen and assist however we can.
Finding the Right Treatment Options for You
Choosing to live free from alcohol abuse can feel intimidating, but it is the right choice, and you do not have to make it alone. Whether you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and are ready to find help, we at Find Addiction Rehabs are ready to help find the best treatment options for your care needs.
Taking that first step to a better life is easier than you think. Just by picking up the phone and calling our 24/7 hotline, you can speak with one of our representatives and get started on a path to a happier, healthier, and sober you!