The friendship and example of recovering alcoholics help newcomers in their effort to quit drinking. Those in recovery share their experiences and communicate to newcomers such simple ideas as "if you do not take that first drink, you cannot get drunk" or that it is best to avoid setting long-term goals for yourself and instead to set shorter-term goals, like 24 hours.
"Any alcoholic can go twenty-four hours without taking that first drink."
People in A.A. find that it is advisable to concentrate their energy on avoiding that drink today, because "if they do not drink it today, they will not get drunk today." "We will worry about tomorrow when it comes, and we will try to do the same thing." "It does not make much sense to obsess about the past. It is behind us."
When alcoholics stop consuming alcohol, they recover physically from their illness. But alcoholism is an illness that does not affect the body alone. If a recovering alcoholic wishes to achieve lasting sobriety, he also needs a healthy mind and balanced emotions.
The A.A. recovery program helps the alcoholic to sort out his confused thoughts and to let go of his negative feelings.
Members attend A.A. meetings regularly, to keep in contact with other members and to learn how to best apply the recovery program in their lives.
Failure is rare among people who have carefully followed the Alcoholics Anonymous recovery program. Those who do not recover are those who cannot or do not wish to devote themselves fully to this simple program.
A.A. members explain in general what they were like, what happened to them, and what they are like now, after having taken certain steps in applying the recovery program.