AA Meetings Chiang Mai & Alternative Resources

AA Meetings in Chiang Mai offer individuals the opportunity to come together and share their unique experiences, recover from alcoholism and maintain their sobriety.

Founded in 1935, AA (AKA) Alcoholics Anonymous is the world’s oldest and most widely recognised mutual help organisation. Its millions of members make it the most popular method of treatment for alcoholism, and it has also done the job of inspiring many other 12 step fellowships such as Sex Addicts Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

Today AA is a global organisation that is dedicated to helping individuals worldwide achieve and maintain their goals of sobriety, using a series of graduated steps and also regular meetings. In some cases, the AA Chiang Mai programme may not be as effective when compared to traditional therapy when used on its own, and in other cases, it acts as an excellent complement to the other forms of alternative treatments. Those wishing to seek help through AA do so at no cost, and with the cost of treatment being a primary barrier for most individuals, the AA programme can offer a life-line of support to those who require it the most.

What are the Warning Signs of Alcoholism?

There can be various warning signs which help us to detect potential alcohol abuse. While most signs are recognisable, some may be more difficult to identify. The severity of alcohol abuse also plays a major role when looking at the warning signs one exhibits. This can make it particularly challenging for loved ones to intervene and support.

AA Chiang Mai

Some of the symptoms include:

➢ Strong cravings and urges to drink alcohol.

➢ Continuing to drink even when it’s causing social, physical and interpersonal problems.

➢ Failing to fulfil responsibilities due to repeated alcohol usage.

➢ Developing a tolerance, so you may need more to feel its effects.

➢ Experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

➢ Exhibiting signs of extreme mood swings and irritability.

➢ Making excuses to drink- such as to deal with amounting stress or relax.

➢ Becoming isolated and distant from others.

➢ Having memory loss problems or blackouts more frequently.

The Dangers of Alcoholism

Abusing alcohol can certainly lead to an array of problems, which could affect your personal and also your professional life. Prolonged exposure to alcohol puts you at significant risk for developing severe health conditions and can also cause other concerning consequences.

Denial is one of the primary reasons why millions of individuals do not receive treatment when it comes to alcoholism. Many individuals will also try to rationalise their drinking

behaviours, and blame other circumstances for their drinking. Rather than acknowledging the issues experienced because of alcohol, individuals may also become more defensive when confronted about excessive drinking behaviours. However, at Counselling Thailand, we are dedicated to helping you stop making excuses for your drinking and help guide you toward a more fulfilling life.


Where to Find AA Meetings in Chiang Mai

There are currently over 20 English speaking AA meetings in Chiang Mai every week as well 3 Thai speaking meetings. 

Every meeting has it’s own format, each designed to cater to different preferences and needs within the recovery community.

One common format is the “Speaker Meeting,” where a member shares their personal journey of alcoholism, recovery, and sobriety. These stories offer inspiration, hope, and guidance to attendees.

Another format is the “Discussion Meeting,” where participants engage in open conversations about topics related to recovery including their personal experiences of working the 12 step programme. This format encourages sharing and peer support among members.

“Big Book Study Meetings” focus on studying and discussing the principles outlined in the Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book,” which serves as a foundational text for the program. Members delve into the teachings and apply them to their own lives.

Additionally, there are “Closed Meetings” for AA members only and “Open Meetings” welcome to anyone interested in learning about alcoholism and recovery. Such interested parties may include spouses or family members of someone struggling with alcoholism. 

Overall, AA meetings provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to connect, share, and work towards overcoming alcoholism, employing various formats to accommodate diverse needs and preferences within the recovery community.


What are Some Alternatives & Addional Resources To AA?

While recognising the accomplishments of AA, there are also different options depending on the individual. Alcohol dependency usually requires individualised treatments that address symptoms and potential underlying causes.

While AA is known to be rather effective when maintaining sobriety for individuals who take part, this is by no means the only means available for stopping drinking. Not everyone feels comfortable with the idea of total abstinence suggested by 12 step programmes and / or the religious / spiritual aspects of it. Substance use and abuse is a personal problem and many people often seek other methods such as.


Alcohol CounsellingSubstance Abuse is more than a dependence on alcohol or drugs, which leaves people at high risk for relapses. Many psychological and social factors can be extreme triggers when it comes to relapse. Alcohol counselling aims to help curb mental cravings and in some cases, obsessions and also manage the obstacles of life without relying on substances to do so. Counselling is seen as a mainstay for many individuals. Therapy provided by us can also help treat other issues such as anxiety and depression which often come hand-in-hand and play a major role in substance abuse.


Alcohol and Drug Rehabs: Although AA is an extremely valuable resource for help and support with alcoholism there are instances where professional help may be necessary, particularly if alcohol detox is required. There are many rehab options in Chiang Mai including 12 Step Rehabs, Non 12 Step, CBT & 12 Step combined and Thai government detox. 

Thai government rehabs Definitely non luxury but low cost. Geared towards Thai nationals, English language amongst medical staff and fellow patients is likely to be extremely limited. There are usually very strict policies around electronics. Government facilities are more like a hospital type setting with minimal psychoeducation and counselling and more focused on alcohol detox. Some however do encourage their patients to attend AA meetings or allow local AA groups to facilitate AA meetings on the premises.

Private Alcohol Rehabs

We work on a consultancy basis for many reputable rehabs and specialise in pre rehab support and post rehab aftercare. Rehabs in Thailand are significantly cheaper than those in the West and many see the immense value of the 12 steps and include elements of the 12 steps in their treatment programme along with regular AA meetings both on-site and off-site.


More information about Thai alcohol rehabs can be found by visiting our dedicated page Alcohol Rehabs in Thailand which will be able to provide the most updated information for both government and private options.


Individual Alcohol Recovery Programme: A tailored intensive stop drinking programme created by Counselling Thailand’s main director Brett Thornton who has both professional and personal experience recovering from alcoholism with over 12 years of continuous sobriety. The programme comprises psychoeducation, counselling, CBT, relapse prevention, recovery planning and much more. This can be facilitated in person or online. Due to the amount of work involved availability is limited. In addition to telephone assessment clients will be interviewed to ascertain their commitment.  


Where Can I Get Help?

We are not affiliated with AA Thailand directly and are in no way associated with them. To preserve the utmost integrity of the AA programme and maintain the fundamental spiritual aim, AA does not support groups or endorse outside organisations and causes. However, as an entirely separate entity, we encourage those who need help to reach out in whatever way they feel comfortable with and many of our clients have found AA meetings in Chiang Mai to be a valuable resource.

If you feel that you drink an excessive amount of alcohol or your drinking patterns are starting to cause problems, do not hesitate to reach out for help. You can start by talking to one of our native Thai and English speaking therapists, or seeking help from a support group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous Chiang Mai. Contact us today and get started attaining your long-term recovery and sobriety goals.