The establishment of AA is linked to a well-known religious movement in the United States called the Oxford Group. People from this group believed in the practice of self-improvement by a variety of methods including the use of prayer and meditation (Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, 2010). In the 1930’s, a certain Rowland H. from Vermont visited a doctor because of his drinking problem. He was advised that there was no cure medically and that he should consider a spiritual cure. This was what led him to the Oxford Group (Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, 2010). With the help of the group’s principles, he and a friend were able to curb their drinking. Yet another friend of theirs’ Bill W Ebby, heard about the Oxford group but was unconvinced that it would help him. Medical treatment had failed to help him and Bill had already lost a promising career on Wall Street. He decided to give it a try anyway and he found to his amazement that it was extremely effective. Bill managed to stop drinking and hence, in 1934, the seed was planted for the birth of AA.
After a number of fateful events, Bill crossed paths with another recovering alcoholic Dr, Bob. They both realized how much it helped to discuss their addiction and the date that Dr. Bob had his last drink, June 10, 1935, is the day considered to be AA founding day (Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, 2010). In a move to get AA started, Bill welcomed alcoholics to his home for meetings and the rest, as they say, is history. Bill and Dr. Bob realized the crucial point that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to get an alcoholic to swear off alcohol for life. Instead, they come up with the concept of sobriety for one day, an idea that sounds much more achievable (Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, 2010). Eventually, after initial start in the US, AA started to spread too many other countries and Bill and Dr. Bob started to write a book, dubbed the ‘Big Book’, to help alcoholics who are unable to attend meetings.