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By Kevin D. Romine

SAN ANTONIO – Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) currently offers over 400 weekly meetings in the San Antonio area 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to aid the community.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (N.I.A.A.A.), almost 53 percent of full-time college students ages 18 to 22 drank alcohol in the past month and the N.I.A.A.A. estimates that 1,519 college students die from alcohol related injuries every year.

A.A. wants OLLU students to know that if they are struggling with addiction, they can help.

What started as two men in 1935­­­ now encompasses over a million people world-wide. A.A. founder’s quickly discovered that there is a productive chemistry that develops between two people when they share similar experiences with each other.  

A representative of Alcoholics Anonymous San Antonio, Pam, who wished to remain anonymous, said the program spreads by word-of-mouth, is voluntary and is not funded by anyone other than its members.

Pam said the stigma of addiction is now fading with the discovery that it is a disease. Alcohol Abuse Disorder changes a person’s brain chemistry and some people are genetically predisposed to it.

Alcohol addiction leads to increased tolerance, brain and body damage, and social issues. Like any disease, if ignored, the symptoms get worse. A.A. wants you to know that treatment is available, free of charge.

With the advent of COVID-19, meetings have switched to a virtual format, although some still meet in-person. Virtual meetings take place at all hours of the day and can fit almost any schedule and you don’t even have to turn your camera on.

An app to help find meetings is available for smart phones and tablets from Apple Store and Google Play.

Alcoholics Anonymous currently offers a 24/7 hotline available for anyone who wishes to find a meeting. They can be reached at 210-828-6235 for English and (210) 409-8524 for Spanish.

photo credit: @ollusaints

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