Anonymous Recovery Meeting Acronyms and What They Mean


Anonymous Recovery Meeting Acronyms and What They Mean

What These 9 Anonymous Recovery Meeting Acronyms Mean

Anonymous recovery meeting groups have been helping people with various addictions and behavioral problems since the late 1930’s. It began with Alcoholics Anonymous and their fundamental ideas on how to live a more fulfilling life without destructive patterns. The term “fellowship” which is used in many of the anonymous groups refers to offering companionship, friendship, mutual support, and camaraderie through recovery. This has been proven as one of the most effective ways to change your life.

The twelve-step method Alcoholics Anonymous has used for 75 years is now used for many anonymous groups. The methods and practices have been adapted by other fellowships for addictions, mental problems, and compulsive behaviors.

1. AA-Alcoholics Anonymous


Alcoholics Anonymous is available worldwide as an international fellowship of people who had a drinking problem. It’s self-supporting with no affiliation with professional services. If you’re exhibiting signs of alcoholism or a heavy drinking problem, you will want to get professional treatment along with attending AA meetings. The original Alcoholics Anonymous book became available in 1939 and its text has helped millions of people since.

The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous consist of principals with the fundamentals of spirituality. Practicing these principals is meant to be a way of life replacing the negative drinking obsession with a more fulfilling way of being. AA also has the Twelve Traditions which apply to the groups that are held in locations all over the world. They help groups maintain the unity and authenticity of AA.  Not only is there regular weekly meetings to support alcoholics but there are sponsors and free literature available.

2. NA-Narcotics Anonymous


Narcotics Anonymous is a worldwide organization that’s available in several languages. They offer a twelve-step program to help you recover from the effects of addiction. Their program includes attending group meetings regularly. The organization believes that the group dynamic allows you to get help from peers while developing your support network. Becoming a part of the community helps to maintain a drug-free lifestyle. Narcotics Anonymous doesn’t have a focus on any one drug and considers alcoholism in their program.

It’s a free membership with no affiliation of other organizations outside of Narcotics Anonymous. They do welcome cooperation of other groups such as government, clergy, drug treatment and healthcare professions. Members within Narcotics Anonymous also volunteer by doing presentations at treatment centers or prisons. This allows them to give back to the community as they can provide information for those who are unable to attend meetings.

One of NA’s reasons for success is the therapeutic value addicts get when they work together with others suffering from the same problems. Members can share their challenges as well as their success when it comes to living without drugs through the Twelve Steps and Traditions of NA. Narcotics Anonymous is non-religious and encourages the member to cultivate their own methods of understanding through self-empowerment, religion, social, or economic principals.

Narcotics Anonymous stands for one mission and that is to provide addicts with an environment that will help stop drug usage. As they find a new way to live, the hope is they will stop using drugs with the principal of total abstinence from all substances. It is believed that this is the best way to ensure totally recovery and growth.

The main service is the NA group meeting which is self-run based on principals that match the organizations mandate. This is expressed through their literature. Most of the meetings will take place in public, religious, or civic organizations.

3. PA-Pills Anonymous


Pills Anonymous is a worldwide fellowship of people recovering from a pill addictions. The organization creates a space of anonymity and support for those who are recovering from their addiction to pills. This is done through strength, hope, and sharing with one another. The one requirement is that you should have a desire to stop using pills. Becoming a member of PA in conjunction with attending drug rehab can maximize recovery success. They are a non-for-profit, self supporting group with no affiliation to drug treatment organizations.

Their program provides regular meetings while working with 12 Steps of Recovery. Their motto is to work together to stay clean and help others achieve the same freedom. They have the twelve steps, traditions and concepts which help to provide guidelines for recovery, running meetings effectively, and the organization worldwide.

4. OA-Overeaters Anonymous


Overeaters Anonymous is made up of a fellowship who share their experiences, hope, and strength while recovering from compulsive eating issues. Anyone who wants to stop compulsive eating is welcome to join and there are no dues or membership fees. Self-support is through their own contributions and they don’t ask or accept donations from outside parties or individuals. OA doesn’t have affiliations with other organizations, religious or otherwise. Some might not consider compulsive eating an addiction but it does exhibit many of the same characteristics that substance abuse and addiction does.

The main purpose of OA is to support you if you wish to abstain from compulsive eating and compulsive behaviors with food. This is carried out by sharing their message with their Twelve Steps of OA. It is the heart of the recovery program offered by Overeaters Anonymous. Twelve Steps is based on offering a new way of living that enables compulsive eaters to let go of their need for excess food. Their goal is to offer compulsive eaters the opportunity to free themselves and live happy, productive lives.

They also have Twelve Traditions which helps the organization keep group meetings and service committees on track. They want all the localized groups to use the tools that have been proven to work for compulsive eaters. What makes OA different from other anonymous groups is that they run their meetings in their own online chatroom. The meetings allow compulsive eaters to identify common issues and come up with solutions based on their Twelve Steps.

5. CA – Cocaine Anonymous


Cocaine Anonymous is another group that is based on the fundamentals of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is comprised of a fellowship of both men and women who come together and share what they’re going through. They give each other hope and help work through problems together while supporting each other in the recovery from their addiction to cocaine.

The requirement to become a member is to stop using cocaine or any mind-altering substances. The goal of CA is to abstain from cocaine and all mind-altering substances while helping each other achieve the same freedom. Members can take part in local meetings where addicts can come together and communicate through mutual understanding. Cocaine Anonymous also offers a lot of information on their website where you can find out upcoming events in your local area. Those with a heavy addiction to cocaine may need to seek out treatment along with the meetings and support CA provides.

The Twelve Step Recovery Program is used because it has proven to work. Cocaine Anonymous World Services began in Los Angeles in the 1980’s and has expanded through the U.S. and Canada with some groups forming in Europe.

6. GA Gamblers Anonymous


Gamblers Anonymous is patterned under Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve step where it is comprised by a fellowship that men and women are invited to attend. They help one another through problems that are mutually understood because they’re going through the same thing. The membership requirement is your desire to stop gambling. The group is self-supported and runs through their own contributions.

GA doesn’t collaborate with other organizations as their primary goal is to stop gambling while helping others with their battle. This is not a religious fellowship like Alcoholics Anonymous. Compulsive gamblers attempt to prove that they can gamble like anyone else. Most problem gamblers never admit they were a problem gamblers. Gamblers obsess over trying to control their gambling compulsion. This addiction comes with astonishing illusions where they will lose everything and still not admit there’s a problem.

Gamblers Anonymous helps compulsive gamblers admit to themselves that they have a problem. Breaking down the illusions that the people in the fellowship are just like everyone else when it comes to gambling is priority number one. Educating compulsive gamblers with the knowledge that they will never regain control of gambling is important. The organization believes that compulsive gambling is a progressive illness so they treat it as such.

Gamblers Anonymous is available worldwide and has local meetings that include both closed meetings only to those with gambling problems and open meetings for families and loves ones. There are also hotlines for those who need immediate help. The website offers valuable information like newsletters and help for those who want to abstain from gambling.

7. DRA-Dual Recovery Anonymous


Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA) is a self-help, 12-step program. It’s designed for men and women with more than one illness. A chemical dependency coupled with an emotional psychiatric illness. The priority for DRA is to support and help one another with dual recovery and preventing a relapse. There are two requirements for those who want to become a member. You need to have a desire to stop using alcohol or drugs along with a will to manage emotional or psychiatric illness in a healthy way.

These are some suggestions that DRA has to promote success,

  • Today, I will be free of alcohol and other intoxicating drugs.
  • Today, I will follow a healthy plan to manage my emotional or psychiatric illness.
  • Today, I will practice the Twelve Steps to the best of my ability.

DRA stipulates that it is not a professional self-help program and highly recommends getting help from other organizations and professionals. Attending an intensive outpatient program and seeking help from mental health professionals is advised alongside services that DRA offers. Dual Recovery Anonymous isn’t associated with other self-help or 12-step programs.

Their central service office supports anyone who wants to start DRA meetings. DRA operates worldwide with their main office being in Kansas. There are groups in many local areas and they are always open to new groups being formed. They also provide helpful information on their website including success stories, upcoming events and helpful information for those with dual illnesses,

Addiction, substance abuse and compulsive behaviors need to be addressed properly. The process of recovery usually begins with detox or a rehabilitation. After the initial abstaining, joining a group or fellowship of people that understand what you’re going through can dramatically increase your success rate to a full recovery. Many different types of research support anonymous groups and the fundamentals they believe in.

You become accountable for yourself which can be an empowering journey. You are supported in anonymous groups as you heal past wounds. Joining a group of people that share your predicament makes it becomes more difficult to continue your path of destruction. That is in part what makes AA and other similar groups so successful. You can remain in the group as you grow throughout recovery and will never truly be alone in your struggle again.

Full Infographic:

Anonymous Recovery Meeting Acronyms And What They Mean

View Sources:

NCBI (2011 Jul 20) Published by US National Public Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. How Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Work: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives. Retrieved from,
NCBI (Sept, 18, 2009) Published by US National Public Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Alcoholics Anonymous Effectiveness: Faith Meets Science. Retrieved by,
Eating Disorders Journal. The Journal of Treatment and Prevention. Cited by Taylor and Francis Online (1996). Overeaters anonymous: Who goes and who succeeds? Retrieved by,
AMA Journal of Ethics (June, 2016) Addiction, 12-Step Programs, and Evidentiary Standards for Ethically and Clinically Sound Treatment Recommendations: What Should Clinicians Do? Retrieved by,

2020-01-30T16:49:09+00:00June 8th, 2017|0 Comments

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