Essay by Rugbygy9 April 2003

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Alcohol abuse is becoming a more common problem in the United States and surrounding countries. Now, more than ever, instead of merely imprisoning alcohol abusers who have committed a crime, the law is also enforcing treatments among these criminals, the most common being Alcoholics Anonymous or something of a sort.

Most everyone has heard of Alcoholics Anonymous at one time or another, and many have even known someone to have had participated in a program of this type. Often times one does not really consider what a program like Alcoholics Anonymous does for an entire society. For instance, what exactly is Alcoholics Anonymous? "Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism," (Alcoholics, 2002). Many convicted alcoholic criminals and civilian alcoholics are required to attend programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and other similar "get-help" programs.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) began in 1935 in Akron, New York, and was noticed nationally and internationally in 1939. AA now exists and runs on a consistent basis in over 150 countries.

Because of required confidentially, it is extremely difficult to keep an accurate record of membership. An estimated table of those who have attended meetings, either as a requirement of the law, or on their own free will is as follows:

Estimated Group Membership and Group Information

Groups in U.S.51,245

Members in U.S.1,160,651

Groups in Canada4,965

Members in Canada97,124

Groups Overseas41,390

Members Overseas891,062


Groups in Correctional Facilities2,531

Lone Members315

Total Members2,215,293

Total Groups100,131

As one can see, there are sections of groups in Alcoholics Anonymous referred to as "Overseas" and "Lone Members." Oversea members are those who provided assistance in the Naval Services or the Merchant Marines, who...