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by Neena Strichart

I was visiting with Aunt Jeraldine last weekend when the topic of 12-step programs came up. We had just been dining at a restaurant in The Americana at Brand “shopping experience” in Glendale and were commenting about how, in spite of the recession, some people still seem to be shopping at levels that could be categorized as overindulgence. Everywhere we looked, we saw beautiful people carrying armloads of bags sporting logos from various chic shops in the center. Nordstrom, Tiffany & Co., Apple, Juicy Couture, Calvin Klein and other such well-known brands were emblazoned across the handled paper satchels being paraded through the shopping area’s courtyard.
During our drive back to Auntie’s home, she mentioned that she wondered if there are any groups who catered to the issues of compulsive shopping for the poor dears who seemed to suffer from overspending. I assured her that yes, indeed there are. I then remembered that I had written a column several years ago about the different 12-step programs that are available to help those in need. Looking through our archives I found the article from April 11, 2007 and have reprinted a large portion of it below. Who knows, maybe one of our readers will find comfort in the following information:

Although most everybody knows about Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and maybe even Narcotics Anonymous (NA), most folks don’t realize there are more than 50 other recognized 12-step programs and most of them have meetings within our Long Beach/Signal Hill area. If you have any questions regarding the individual programs, call Richard at Easy Does It at (562) 621-1042. He’ll be happy to help.
According to, the 12-step program has been adopted by other fellowships for individuals who deal with the powerlessness over people, places or things. The requirement for membership in each of the groups is the desire to stop using either a substance or quit a behavior which has caused such powerlessness. The powerlessness over a substance or behavior has to be self-diagnosed by each member. There is no cost for membership or to attend meetings.
Some of the 12-step programs available include:
• AA—Alcoholics Anonymous
• ACOA—Adult Children of Alcoholics
• Al-Anon/Alateen—support for families of alcoholics
• CA—Cocaine Anonymous
• CDA—Chemically Dependent Anonymous
• CEA—Compulsive Eaters Anonymous
• CLA—Clutterers Anonymous
• CMA—Crystal Meth Anonymous
• CoDA—Codependents Anonymous
• COSA—Codependents of Sex Addicts
• DA—Debtors Anonymous
• DA—Depressed Anonymous
• DDA—Dual Diagnosis Anonymous
• EA—Emotions Anonymous
• EAA—Eating Addictions Anonymous
• FA—Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous
• GA—Gamblers Anonymous
• MA—Marijuana Anonymous
• MA—Methadone Anonymous
• NA—Narcotics Anonymous
• Nar—Anon—family groups of addicts
• NicA—Nicotine Addicts Anonymous
• OA—Overeaters Anonymous
• OLGA / OLG-Anon-OnLine Gamers Anonymous
• PA—Pills Anonymous
• PIR—Pagans In Recovery
• Procrastinators Anonymous
• RCA—Recovering Couples Anonymous
• SA—Spenders Anonymous
• SARA—Sexual Assault Recovery Anonymous
• SLAA—Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous
• SMA—Self-Mutilators Anonymous
• VA—Vulgarity Anonymous
• WA—Workaholics Anonymous

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Thoughts from the Publisher