Many addicts and alcoholics have found a solution to substance abuse and problem drinking through the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Those who have sought recovery from addiction build the beginnings of a foundation for change typically through sitting down with another who has walked through the same struggle, and come out the other side. This conversation with a sober individual who offers their experience, strength and hope without obligation, provides one of the most important tools for recovery.

Eighty years ago this June, an alcoholic who couldn’t stop drinking was visited by another who strongly believed he’d found a solution. Since that time, the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous has grown to 2 million members worldwide.

This years’ 2015 International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous in Atlanta, Georgia will be celebrating the theme “80 Years – Happy, Joyous and Free.” From Thursday, July 2, through early Sunday, July 5, convention events will be held at various venues, such as the Georgia World Congress Center, the Georgia Dome, and Centennial Olympic Park. There will be 800 speakers who will participate in meetings, panels, and special interest meetings for the event.

Alcoholics Anonymous is an international nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial fellowship of men and women who share a problem with alcohol. Because of AA’s service around the world, meetings are available almost everywhere. There are no requirements for membership or attendance except that there be a desire to stop drinking.

The success of 80 years of AA in the states and around the world speaks to the effectiveness of the program in helping so many individuals find recovery. While there are many ways to achieve sobriety, few paths have had the ability to reach and help so many achieve sobriety. Congratulations to the fellowship that has given freedom to addicts and alcoholics to become happy and usefully whole again.

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