Did you know that over 30 percent of people who try to stop drinking relapse during their first year in recovery?
Achieving sobriety is not an easy feat by any means. Along the way, recovering individuals must learn to develop new coping strategies, repair relationships, and combat societal pressures. These factors (and many others) can make achieving sobriety difficult.
Many support groups issue AA sobriety coins to keep individuals on track and remind them of their accomplishments. But what exactly are AA recovery coins? What’s the history behind them? Why are they a great idea for individuals in recovery? Keep reading to learn all you need to know about AA sobriety coins.
What Are AA Sobriety Coins?
An Alcoholics Anonymous (or another 12-step group) issues AA sobriety coins to members who’ve remained sober for a certain period. These tokens resemble medallions and are typically about as large as a poker chip.
The exact history of AA coins is murky, but many people believe they got their start in an Alcoholic Anonymous section in Indianapolis in 1942. The leader Doherty S. began the tradition by passing out coins to members of his group. There was also a chapter in Portland, Maine that began the distribution of colored chips around the same time.
What Do AA Anniversary Coins Represent?
AA anniversary coins represent the period an individual remained sober. They come in various colors, each representing how long it has been since an individual has remained sober.
A group leader will issue a white chip that represents an individual’s newly established commitment to sobriety. After 24 hours of sobriety, the recovering individual will receive a silver chip. Then, the colors issued are as follows:
- Red: 30 days
- Gold: 60 days
- Green: 90 days
- Dark Blue: Six months
- Bronze: One year
Some groups will issue chips in between these periods, like a four-month or 11-month coin. Any coins distributed after one year, including an AA two-year coin and an AA five-year coin, are traditionally bronze.
What Can Individuals Do with AA Coins?
There’s nothing specific you’re supposed to do with your AA coins — you can do whatever you’d like with them. Many people carry them around in their purses or pockets to always have them on hand, as the mementos serve as reminders to stick to their goals. Other people will display their chips at home or store them in a keepsake box.
Family members or friends sometimes purchase special AA coins for sale to reward their loved ones for their accomplishments. Sites like The Token Shop sell keychains, gift boxes, and other accessories to make it easier to show off your accomplishments.
Celebrating Sobriety with AA Recovery Coins
Sobriety is something to celebrate, and AA sobriety coins are great rewards to remind you of your goals. If you experience a relapse, you don’t have to hang your head in shame. Instead, you can remind yourself of why you began your journey to recovery in the first place. With the right support, you can get back on track and start earning your AA chips all over again.
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