Alcoholics Anonymous : An International Mutual Aid Fellowship

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Alcoholics Anonymous is an international mutual aid fellowship founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in Akron, Ohio. AA states that its primary purpose is to help alcoholics "to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety". With other early members Bill Wilson and Bob Smith developed AA 's Twelve Step program of spiritual and character development. AA 's initial Twelve Traditions were introduced in 1946 to help the fellowship be stable and unified while disengaged from "outside issues" and influences. The Traditions recommend that members and groups remain anonymous in public media, altruistically helping other alcoholics and avoiding affiliations with any other organization. Subsequent fellowships such as Narcotics Anonymous have adopted and adapted the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions to their respective primary purposes. The 2006 Cochrane Review of eight studies measuring the effectiveness of AA found no significant difference between the results of AA and twelve-step participation compared to other treatments, stating that "experimental studies have on the whole failed to demonstrate their effectiveness in reducing alcohol dependence or drinking problems when compared to other interventions." and the first non-Protestant member, a Roman Catholic, joined in 1939. AA membership has since spread "across diverse cultures holding different beliefs and values", including geopolitical areas resistant to grassroots movements. In the Fourth Edition of

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