Alcohol has long caused a public health crisis. In fact, one out of every eight Americans has an alcohol use disorder. That is more than 12% of the entire population. 

The only positive side of these numbers is that those with alcoholism don't have to suffer alone. These numbers tell us that this condition is quite common. Even better, there are a number of organizations out there to help.

Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the most well-known organizations fighting alcoholism. One of the ways they succeed is by using recovery chips. 

To find out how recovery chips work, check out the guide below.

What Are Recovery Chips?

Recovery chips, also known as recovery coins or sobriety coins, are small tokens carried by anyone with a commitment to sobriety. Typically, members of Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous carry these coins. 

These tokens are small, usually about the size of a poker chip. For alcoholics, the coin is commonly marked with the duration of sobriety achieved and the Serenity Prayer. 

Types of Recovery Chips

There are so many kinds of recovery chips available that it may be a little overwhelming at first. Usually, different lengths of sobriety are signified by different colors. 

Generally, red is one month, gold is two months, green is three months, purple is four months, pink is five months, dark blue is six months, copper is seven months, red is eight months, purple is nine months, gold is ten months, and green is eleven months. For someone who is really struggling, there is even a 24-hour chip available.

The chips for one year and beyond are special. A one year chip is bronze, and usually, all subsequent years are bronze as well. The frequency of chip giving depends on the particular group. 

The History of Recovery Chips

Many attribute the emergence of recovery chips to Clarence H. Snyder, founder of an AA group in Cleveland in 1939. However, the first instance of a group handing out chips was in 1947. It was the Oxford Group of Elmira, New York. 

Around the same time, other chip-giving practices emerged. They had the same purpose then as they do today.

How to Use Recovery Chips

These chips are not officially created by Alcoholics Anonymous, but they are commonly used by many 12-step programs. To receive a recovery chip, the program will usually arrange a chip ceremony. In other cases, it will be given less formally. Fellow members of the group will be in charge of distribution.

The purpose of a recovery chip is to remind an individual of their commitment to stay sober. They allow the individual to recognize their own strength, and they allow the group to share that recognition.

More AA Guides and Insight

Recovery chips are an important part of any commitment to stay sober. However, there's a lot more to sobriety than these tokens. It's a constant effort that requires a lot of support. 

For more AA literature on how to improve sobriety, don't hesitate to stop by our page.