Big Book of AA

Why use the book Alcoholics Anonymous as the guide for Opiates Anonymous?

The book Alcoholics Anonymous (also known as the “Big Book”) is the original text from which all other Twelve Step programs were formed. We prefer its clear-cut and simple approach. The book Alcoholics Anonymous contains a written set of instructions for an alcoholic to recover that has proven itself over time to work for addicts also. It was written in 1939 through the experience of the first alcoholics who had gotten sober in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). This program of recovery described in the Big Book has not changed. In 1939, they humbly wrote “We realize we only know a little”1 but their countless experiences with the human condition were right on point.  In 1955 when the Second Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous was published, many alcoholics who contributed to the writing already had twenty years of experience and did not change any of the content from the First Edition. The program was not broken; so they did not need to fix it. In 1955, they had enough humility not to alter the content.  It was working as thousands and thousands of people were getting sober. Books were selling, and AA groups were forming across the U.S. and worldwide.  There were great challenges in handling the fellowship’s tremendous growth. The fellowship endured trial and error until the Twelve Traditions helped create unity and AA’s primary purpose.

In Opiates Anonymous, we heard the stories, and we witnessed the miracles of those members who fully embraced this Twelve Step design for living. We witnessed and experienced the same blessings that those in AA witnessed and experienced. So how could a solution from the 1930s work for the addict today? Key factors involving addiction and human nature have not changed. Furthermore, founders of other Twelve Step programs got clean and sober from the program in the Big Book before starting new fellowships.  We are grateful to them for leading by example and showing the world that addicts can recover through the Twelve Step process outlined in the Big Book. In Opiates Anonymous, we prefer to use the same book as our guide that countless addicts have used as their guide for years.