Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the oldest community-based response and support to people struggling with addiction. In 1935 Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, with the support of two Episcopal priests, the Rev. Sam Shoemaker and the Rev. Walter Tunks, gave impetus to the formation of AA. The program’s 12 Steps reflect a spiritual foundation. They have influenced spiritual-based recovery programs, not only for alcoholics but for individuals struggling with various mental, substance-use and behavior disorders, as well as their family and friends.
The Episcopal Church at its 2015 General Convention acknowledged that our church culture avoids conversations about alcohol use, but, in fact, the church needs to address it. In the Spring of 2016, the Diocese of Maryland updated the Diocese of Maryland Alcohol Use Guidelines.