Recovery Jokes & AA Effectiveness

Alcoholism isn’t funny. But those in recovery find it easier with humor. In any case, hope you enjoy these recovery jokes!

I. Recovery Jokes 

A one time I as addicted to soap. Now I’m clean.

I used to be addicted to Thanksgiving leftovers. Had to quit cold turkey.

Why did the accountant do so well in AA? He was already a friend of bills.

Why aren’t people in recovery good dancers? Because they lose interest after twelve steps.recovery jokes

I’m addicted to collecting Wonder Woman action figures. So I’m a heroine addict!

I was addicted to time travel. But that’s all in the past now.

What does a law student and a recovering alcoholic have in common? They both have to pass the bar.

A couple of recovering alcoholics decided to write a song together. But they couldn’t get past the first few bars.

Why do children of recovering alcoholics have such big family reunions? They have twelve-step-parents.

Hokey Pokey

I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey…But I turned myself around.

recovery jokesMy wife told me I had to give up drinking. So I joined the AA. I joined the Automobile Association by mistake. But I’m on the road to recovery.

AA meeting: “Hi I’m Chad and I’ve been sober for 40 days!” “Not in a row, just a total of 40.”

My brother went to his AA meeting drunk. Then he tripped down the stairs. He’s been having lots of trouble with the steps lately.

recovery jokesWhy did the anvil go to AA? He was always getting hammered.

At the AA meeting, the ghost finally admitted it. He has a boos problem.

The alcoholic battery went to an AA meeting.


I would go to AA. But everyone already knows.

recovery jokesMy wife gave me an ultimatum. It was either her or my addiction to sweets. The decision was as easy as pie.

I’m addicted to having money in the bank. So I really do suffer from withdrawals.

My friend is addicted to pretending to be a nun. She just can’t lose the habit.

You could say that getting addicted to skiing… a slippery slope.

recovery jokesWhy is being a pirate so addictive? Once you lose the first hand, you’re hooked.

I knew a guy with a bad gambling addiction. He gambled his arms, legs, and torso away. I told him to quit while he was a head.

Bread Dough

My wife is addicted to bread dough. She really kneads it.

I’m addicted to oxygen. I tried to stop, but within a minute I was feeling blue.

My wife and I have decided never to talk again about my addiction to aviation puns. It’s a soar subject.recovery jokes

Going to acupuncturists to cure alcoholism? I wouldn’t pin your hopes on them.

My wife accused me of being addicted to golf. I asked her if it was driving a wedge between us.

My AA sponsor told me to stay away from places where I used to drink. So I just sold my car.

Three drunks are walking in the woods and they came upon some tracks . The first says “I think these are deer tracks.” The second says “No these they’re badger tracks.” The third says “No these are fox tracks.” While arguing they were all killed by the train.

II. Can Alcoholics Ever Recover?

Many of these recovery jokes refer to alcoholics. (The clinical term is alcohol use dependency or AUD.)

The first scientific evidence that alcoholics can learn to drink in moderation was in 1972. But it met very strong resistance. That was for two unscientific reasons.

recovery jokesFirst, it was inconsistent with AA doctrine. AA says that “Once a pickle, never again a cucumber.” It defines an alcoholic as one who can never drink in moderation again. So if a one drinks moderately, they were never an alcoholic!

Second, there was fear that non-drinking alcoholics would try to drink moderately. In AA’s view, that is impossibly by definition. So it would lead to disaster.

Growing Evidence

But the evidence that many alcoholics could drink moderately continued to grow. More than 20 years ago the  National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) did research. It studied over 43,000 diagnosed alcoholics across the U.S.

It found that almost 18% of alcoholics were drinking in moderation. That is, within government guidelines. It also found about 12% of alcoholics were drinking above those guidelines. But they had no no symptoms of alcoholism.

Over 27% were in partial remission. So they showed some signs of alcohol dependence. And 25% continued to be alcohol  dependent.

So scientific research shows that many alcoholics can recover. Recovering doesn’t have to be a continuing, never-ending process.

III. AA Effectiveness

Is AA effective? For some people it is. But for most people it isn’t. In fact, it’s only effective for about 5%. That is only one of every 20 people.

But research shows that alcoholics do much better on their own. For example, that was found in the NIAAA study described above.

Addiction expert Gabrielle Glaser warns, AA 

recovery jokes“can be just as damaging and dangerous for the people for whom it’s failing… AA tells people that if they don’t benefit, it’s basically their fault. This has produced, really, a lot of tragedies [such as suicides].”

She explains that

It causes people to blame themselves for failing and, consequently, spending more time in the program feeling worse about themselves. Families also blame their loved ones if they don’t do well or if they drop out rather than realizing that AA might not be the best approach [for them].”1

Many AA Beliefs Impede Recovery

Many AA beliefs appear to reduce its effectiveness. For example, the belief that alcoholics are powerless over alcohol. Alternative programs teach that alcoholics have power over alcohol. That they’re not helpless. This empowers them to control their actions.

AA also teaches “loss of control.” This belief is that even a sip of alcohol causes an uncontrollable desire to drink more and more alcohol.

But this theory is easy to disprove. “Loss of control” doesn’t exist for people who unknowingly consume alcohol. Similarly, alcoholic priests don’t experience loss of control when they drink alcohol at mass. That is because they don’t think they’re drinking alcohol. Instead, they’re drinking the blood of Christ.

AA also says that alcoholics must submit to God or a Higher Power. But many atheists refuse to do so. Indeed, AA is Religious. For that reason, people can’t legally be forced to attend AA. 

IV. Resources: Recovery Jokes & AA Effectiveness 

Web Sites

   A. Recovery Jokes

   B. AA Effectiveness



Glaser, G. Critic Faults Alcoholics Anonymous.

Also, know any recovery jokes that could be added? If so, contact hansondj (@) Potsdam (.) edu/. In fact, readers help improve this website. So thanks for helping!