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What Are AA Chips and How Do You Use Them?

Hussain Ali
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So, you’ve been sober for twenty-four hours. To you, it’s a huge accomplishment, but it’s as intangible as time itself. When you’re hoping to remain sober for life, you want to keep track of your progress and count every hour, every day – to hold every small win in your hands and feel the heat of it. 

For many recovering addicts or alcoholics, the key is to collect AA chips, sometimes known as sobriety tokens. While you are in recovery, they serve as a tangible way to track your accomplishments. They help many people to break time down into manageable chunks, making a lifetime of sobriety less overwhelming and more attainable.

If you’re beginning your sobriety journey, AA chips might help you, too. Read on to learn more about how members of Alcoholics Anonymous and similar groups celebrate their sobriety one day at a time with tokens. 

What Are AA Chips?

AA chips are an optional part of the culture of recovery groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Some believe the tradition began around 1942 when group members noticed that it was effective to carry a physical memento of their commitment to sobriety. A standardized system began from there, and it’s now used across the country. 

As members reach different milestones, they receive a chip to serve as a tangible reminder of how far they’ve come. Individuals in recovery carry the chips with them to remind them about their accomplishments in a tangible way.

You may receive your first chip at your first AA meeting, once you’ve been sober for 24 hours. 

What Do Chips Look Like?

The chips themselves look a lot like either coins or poker chips. Manufacturers make them out of a variety of materials, with metals like aluminum and brass being the most popular.

They aren’t used by all recovery groups, so individual meetings have different traditions regarding how they use tokens to mark milestones. Thus, AA chip meanings can vary from group to group. Individual groups buy AA chips from a variety of sources, such as

In many meetings, the chips range in color, with each different color representing a different duration. Your 24-hour chip might be silver. Someone with a bronze chip is likely celebrating one year of sobriety. 

What Do You Do With AA Chips?

Once you have an AA chip or token, you can do anything you like with it. Many people like to keep them on their person at all times and may have them made into keychains. As sober individuals begin to collect chips, they often find unique ways to display them, such as framing. 

Hold Sobriety in Your Hand

If you’re on the road to sobriety, AA chips provide a way for you to see and feel your sobriety. This tangible reminder is often enough to keep people in recovery on track. Because there is always another milestone to work toward, AA chips can help you focus and continue working toward your next major goal.

Are you looking for more lifestyle tips that can improve your life? Check out the rest of the blog for more inspiring posts to get you started on the right track!

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