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Young & Sober: The Reckless, The Fun, The Home


Being young and sober can certainly be a daunting challenge for many who face it. After all, when your generation is focusing on getting smashed on the weekends, how could it be any fun to look for entertainment elsewhere – never mind Alcoholics Anonymous?

In spite of this, for me and thousands of other young alcoholics, the conferences, rooms, and society of Alcoholics Anonymous have become a second home, a refuge for fun and a support society that not only understands but encourages sobriety, regardless of age.

Getting sober young has become a growing trend, as there has been an increase in college-aged students checking in for treatment and attending young people’s meetings. While not all of us have the same decades-old stories that old-timers tend to tell, we come in just as beat down, lonely, and confused as anyone else who winds up in the rooms of a 12-step support group.

We’re looking for understanding, for a home, and for a way to have fun that doesn’t involve the ritualistic obliteration that is often found in the high school and college atmosphere. Studies even point to the fact that Alcoholics Anonymous can have a significant and positive impact on teenagers who attend meetings as well, while conferences often provide that crazy, fun atmosphere that us youngsters crave.

Conferences include meetings, dances, and trips – often extravagant and resembling any other normal young night. The only thing that is different is that there is no booze or drugs, and a whole lot of camaraderie, even with strangers. You all share a common, intimate bond.

My first young person event in AA really reminded me that I am not missing out on anything: I can dance, meet people, dress up, and watch the sun come up – all without compromising my hard-earned sobriety. Conferences are often meeting grounds for treatment centers, newcomers, and those who simply want to have fun and enjoy their sobriety. After all, we are not a glum lot.

Getting sober young can be a gift, despite its hardships. There are many social pressures that come with youth and sobriety but, thankfully, colleges are now addressing this issue by beginning to provide sober livings on campus, as well as sober organizations. While some students may turn up their noses, these atmospheres can be extremely helpful if you have decided you’re an alcoholic and don’t want to mess up your life or sobriety.

The support of peers is an intrinsic part of my own personal sobriety, and meeting other sober, young people has reminded me that I am not alone. It has let me forge real friendships, and kept me safer than I could have if I had ignored the fact that I am an alcoholic, regardless of my age.

Look, just because we’re young doesn’t mean that we didn’t have a problem, and it certainly doesn’t mean we should give up on sobriety or fun. The two can be seamless, and have proven to be; in Alcoholics Anonymous events and meetings around the country.


Works Cited

Benton, Sarah Ellen. Staying Sober is Possible- in College! 30 August 2011. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/. 20 March 2013.

Ellsworth, Taylor. Young, Wild and Free. 19 August 2012. http://www.thefix.com/content/. 20 March 2013.

Health, Reuters. Alcoholics Anonymous helpful for teens too: study. 12 June 2008. http://www.reuters.com/assets/print?aid=USTON27596020080612. 20 March 2013.

Satz, Avi. Being a young person in A.A. 31 May 2011. http://www.12stepsahead.com/being-a-young-person-in-a-a-sebastian-m/. 20 March 2013.


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Written by

A native New Yorker, Bre loves the California scene and writing for Treatment4Addiction. She has been writing content for T4A for five months, and loves to learn new things, form opinions, and send them out to the world. Her interests include dance, singing, acting, talking with friends, being a daughter, and being the best big sister she can to her 16 year old brother. After attending ASU for a few months, she is interested in taking cosmetology classes and exploring her options. She looks forward to learning all she can, and doing something positive with that knowledge and experience.

Filed under: Addiction, Recovery, Treatment · Tags: AA, addictio, Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholism, sobriety, Treatment

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