Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an international mutual aid movement which was founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith (Bill W. and Dr. Bob) in Akron, Ohio. AA says its primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety. With other early members, Wilson and Smith developed AA's Twelve Step program of spiritual and character development. AA's Twelve Traditions were introduced in 1946 to help AA stabilize and grow. The Traditions recommend that members and groups remain anonymous in public media, altruistically help other alcoholics and include all who wish to stop drinking. The Traditions also recommend that AA members acting on behalf of the fellowship steer clear of dogma, governing hierarchies and involvement in public issues. Subsequent fellowships such as Narcotics Anonymous have adopted and adapted the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions to their respective primary purposes. AA generally avoids discussing the medical nature of alcoholism; nonetheless AA is regarded as a proponent and popularizer of the disease theory of alcoholism. The American Psychiatric Association has recommended sustained treatment in conjunction with AA's program
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