Have you ever wondered why AA groups give out military collectable coins to their members?

Well, they're not military coins! They're sober chips, and they mark someone's recovery process. 

If you've recently joined an AA group, you may be wondering when you will get your first chip and how often you should expect to receive chips. Each group operates independently, but many use similar sober chip schedules.

To learn more about how to earn sober chips and when you might get your first token, check out our guide below! 

When You Earn Your First Sober Chips

The first chip you'll earn will probably be on your first day in an AA program. This will traditionally be a silver or white coin, to signify 24 hours of sobriety. It's important to recognize that this can be the most difficult chip for some people to earn—it's a symbol of their decision to pursue a sober lifestyle, which can be incredibly difficult.

The chips you receive after your 24-hour chip will depend on the organization you are a member of and how often they give out chips. Many give out chips after a person has been sober for a month.

During the first 30 days of being sober, withdrawal symptoms kick in. The body has relied so heavily on alcohol, both mentally and physically, that these first 30 days can be absolute hell on earth. The chips given out for the first full month of sobriety are typically red. Monthly chips typically continue for the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 9th-month milestones. These can differ depending on the group since not all groups give out chips and those that due operate on different schedules and guidelines.

Your Sobriety Birthday

Perhaps the most momentous chip you receive will be for your first full year of sobriety. 365 days of being sober are certainly something worth celebrating! You can anticipate receiving a bronze chip for your first sobriety birthday.

Most groups give out chips for every sobriety birthday that an AA member celebrates. Most chips that mark anniversaries past a year are also typically bronze.

How to Obtain Chips

If you are wondering why you haven't gotten any sober chips yet, you may be participating in an AA group that doesn't participate in the chip process. As it's not an official part of the AA program, not all individual groups distribute chips.

If a token system is something that can help with your recovery process, look for a group that gives out chips for milestones.

Along with groups as a whole, you might have a sponsor who will give you chips for different milestones. Loved ones might also get you sober chips for milestones if you express interest.

People close to you might even splurge and get chips with fun designs or ones that picture something that you enjoy. Sometimes other AA members who are close with you will get you chips if they admire your progress.

Recognizing Milestones

While some people might not care about sober chips, they can encourage and set goals for other AA members. Receiving chips reminds you of your progress and the new clean life you've decided to build for yourself.

For more articles and info on AA programs and chips, check out the rest of our blog!