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How Often Should I Go to Meetings?

The question of how frequently one should attend meetings comes up often. There is no specific number of meetings that one should attend but based on the collective experience of men and women in recovery as well as research into the subject, there are a several basic suggestions. As 12-step recovery has received the most amount of research because it has been proven to be effective, but suggestions about the frequency of meeting attendance can be applied to any recovery program of one’s choosing.

The general suggestion for newcomers is often referred to as “90 in 90.” This means that we should attend ninety meetings in the first ninety days of our sobriety, or one meeting per day. Early recovery can be a difficult time and adhering to the suggestion allows one to assimilate him or herself into the recovery community and hopefully begin getting involved with the work of their program. Ninety meetings in ninety days allows one to develop support systems with others in recovery and explore all that the community has to offer. The first ninety days of sobriety are a critical time when, if we are adhering to 12-step recovery, we are able to get a sponsor, a home group, begin providing service, and most importantly, setting up a healthy routine that balances meeting attendance with our daily lives.

Research into the meeting attendance may initially appear as though meetings provide limited effectiveness. According to the HAMS Harm Reduction Network, “A number of researchers have made the claim that 95% of new AA members leave within the first year–that only 5% of new member remain.” However, these numbers do not seem to take into account the frequency of meetings or whether or not a person is actively engaging in the 12-step recovery program. A comprehensive study in the Journal of Addictive Diseases by Lee Ann Kaskutas, Alcoholics Anonymous Effectiveness: Faith Meets Science, explains that only 20-25% of those who did not attend AA or another 12-step program were sober at 1 year, while rates of those who attended AA or another 12-step program were twice as high.

The rates of success increase dramatically over time and with more frequent meeting attendance. According to Kaskutas, “over 70% of those attending 12-step groups weekly for the 6 months prior to the 2-year follow-up were alcohol abstainers, while alcohol abstinence rates among those attending less than weekly were the same as those who never attended during that period.” The question of how frequently one should attend meetings varies from person to person, but research suggests that the highest rates of success occur when an individual is attending one meeting per week at the very least. Given the high rate of dropout within the first year, however, newcomers should consider attending as often as possible to create a habit of meeting attendance that will safeguard them from dropping out of the programs.

Your life doesn’t have to be held back by the chains of addiction. You can make the decision to seek help today and begin building a brighter future. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, brings together the highest quality behavioral health and addictions specialists, holistic experts, and spiritual guides to help clients develop all the tools necessary to achieve and maintain sobriety. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431