Did you just spend 24 hours newly sober? Congratulations! You can now officially be a part of the recovery fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. Being sober is like a rebirth. You begin a new chapter of your life, away from your alcoholic obsession, one day at a time.
While you might not get a birthday cake, you can get a 24-hour sobriety medallion! This medallion is also known as the AA chip or the 24-hour chip in AA groups. The token may appear as a simple bronze or aluminum coin, but there’s much more to receiving this 24-hour chip.
This humble token represents the beginning of the recovery journey of struggling alcoholics. Anyone that has suffered from substance abuse, be it alcohol abuse or drug abuse, knows that the first step can sometimes be the hardest one. Accomplishing 24 hours of sobriety is impressive and deserves acknowledgment, and it's important to share this time at an AA meeting with others who understand.
Receiving this sobriety token, or desire chip, serves as a daily reminder of the promise you made to reclaim your life and make better choices, one day at a time. And if you have accomplished that, even for a short period of time, for now, you should know you have what it takes to keep going!
What Exactly Is Alcoholics Anonymous?
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people who come together for one purpose only; to help each other attain (and maintain) sobriety. It was started by two individuals with a drinking problem who wanted to get sober. They formed this enormous entity that is now changing lives globally, with the number of members increasing.
It is a non-profit organization that is self-run and self-administered by its members. They organize meetings, virtual and in-person, where members discuss each other’s struggles and provide support, tips, and encouragement to get and keep sobriety.
Membership for AA is free and attainable by anyone with a drinking problem seeking to change their ways. That’s it; there are no other prerequisites to joining them!
How Do They Help?
Alcoholics Anonymous has a 12-step program meant for alcoholics to find a purpose in their lives away from alcohol. In Aa, members provide a haven for their members to discuss their experience, strength, and hope with each other to form lasting bonds and help each other stay sober.
Members of the fellowship meet regularly to help each other stay consistent and celebrate each other’s small victories, 24 hours or one year’s sobriety.
What Does This 24-hour Sobriety Chip Actually Mean?
The 24-hour sobriety coin is a small yet meaningful token for anyone that receives it. This AA chip signifies the first step anyone takes in recovery as someone with a drinking problem.
The 24-hour coin is a coin with the AA circle triangle motif on one side and the 24-hour stamp on the other side (sadly, no special powers). However, this simple coin embodies the essence of the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) program, emphasizing the importance of focusing on the present moment, away from the guilt of the past, and embracing the decision to recover, one day at a time.
It serves as a daily reminder that even though being sober forever seems like a far-away thought right now, if you can get by the first day, the first 24 hours, you have what it takes to be unstoppable in your journey to recovery. It is the first of many milestones that you’ll go on to (hopefully) achieve.
These sobriety chips are handed out during Alcoholics Anonymous meetings with an encouraging statement to help persevere. These statements include:
“Put this medallion under your tongue; if it melts, it is o.k. to take a drink”
“Carry this chip with you at all times; it is your reminder that recovery is 24 hours at a time. If you take a drink, throw it down on the ground so that someone might find it and know to come to Alcoholics Anonymous.”
The start of the tradition of handing out these coins started at AA meetings in Indianapolis in 1942.
Benefits Of The 24-hour Recovery Chip
While you might be thinking, so you hand out a mundane-looking coin to everyone with one day of sober life, what’s the big deal?
It is similar to when you hand out medals to kids in primary school for achieving small tasks like having clean shoes. It encourages them to wear clean shoes every day. The 24-hour coin works similarly.
Here are some of the benefits of the coin:
Makes Achieving Sobriety Seem a lot Easier
Recovery from addiction can be intimidating when viewed as a lifelong battle.
However, the concept of "one day at a time" makes the idea a little less daunting and a lot more achievable.
The 24-hour AA coin encapsulates this philosophy, encouraging individuals to stay focused on their sobriety goals without becoming overwhelmed by the enormity of the journey ahead. It encourages them to focus on smaller, more attainable goals for the time being and eventually aim for bigger milestones ahead.
Serves As Constant Reminder
Obtaining a 24-hour chip represents an individual's courage and willingness to change their lives and not let their addiction define them any longer.
It signifies the first step they took towards breaking the cycle of addiction and embracing a healthier life. And also reminds them of their little achievement every day.
Each day of sobriety takes constant resilience and patience. The 24-hour medallion serves as a visual representation of their commitment to their well-being and becomes an important landmark of their journey.
Serves As A Source of Support and Fellowship
The 24-hour chip is often presented and celebrated within the supportive environment of AA recovery meetings and fellowship groups.
This public acceptance of the medallion can be very boosting for one’s morale; it is also a very emotional experience. It provides an opportunity for fellow members to offer encouragement, celebrate milestones, and create a sense of camaraderie.
It reinforces the individual’s connection to the community and helps them continue on, knowing they have a support system to back them through this difficult journey.
AA Chips Come In Various Designs and Colors To Mark Each Milestone
The 24-hour chip comes in various designs and materials, reflecting the diversity of individuals and their recovery journeys.
From AA coins and tokens to unique AA medallions such as the Sacred Heart Medallion, these symbols carry personal significance. The Serenity Prayer, a cornerstone of AA, often adorns the reverse side of the chip, serving as a constant reminder of acceptance and inner strength.
There are different colored coins for each milestone of the sobriety journey. These include:
White – 24 hours of sobriety
Red – one month of sobriety
Gold – two months of sobriety
Emerald green – three months of sobriety
Gold – four months of sobriety
Red – five months of sobriety
Blue – six months of sobriety
You can also get these coins in a variety of different designs and colors. There are specialist designer coins, tri-color coins, and dynamic color coins. They are also available in different materials, such as aluminum, bronze, silver, and gold.
Websites like SoberMedallions offer different editions of this coin for Veterans, Native Americans, African Americans, and bikers. Some coins also come with a message of encouragement. Additionally, they have a set of anniversary coins that you can get customized according to the number of years you are sober.
The Legacy and Evolution of the 24-Hour Chip
As mentioned above, the tradition of handing out sobriety chips, including the 24-hour AA chip, dates back to the early days of AA, as far as 1942.
It began as a gesture of celebration of birthdays and milestones in recovery. Over time, the practice spread and evolved, with different groups adopting their customs.
Today, the tokens can be easily obtained from trusted sources like the Token Shop, the official AA website, or even wholesale, offering convenience and fast delivery.
What Can You Do With The Sobriety Chip?
While there is no right or wrong way to use the sobriety chip, you can do whatever you want with it. However, here are some ideas for inspiration if you can’t figure out what to do with it:
Carry it as a symbol: Many people carry their sobriety chip as a reminder of their commitment to sobriety. You can keep it in your pocket, purse, or wallet as a tangible reminder of your journey whenever you need it.
Use It as a touchstone for motivation: It is natural to encounter challenging moments or cravings. You can hold or touch their sobriety chip as a source of support to keep going.
Use it as daily reflection: Incorporating the sobriety chip into a daily reflection practice can be beneficial. You can take a moment each day to hold the chip and reflect on your achievements.
Use it for display and celebration: Some individuals display their sobriety chips as a visual representation of their progress. You can place them on a frame or a jar and display them somewhere you can see them daily.
Pass it on: Once you have remained sober for a while, you can pass on this sobriety chip to encourage someone that needs a push to begin their journey.
The 24-hour chip or sobriety tokens, on the whole, hold a significant place within the alcoholics’ recovery community. It represents their courage to embark on a sober life and the commitment to take recovery one day, 1 month, and 1 year at a time.
It symbolizes their progress, resilience, and personal growth. As individuals in recovery embrace the 24-hour token, they find support, inspiration, and a tangible reminder of their commitment to sobriety.
With each passing day and accumulation of AA chips, the 24-hour token becomes a testament to the strength and determination of individuals striving for lasting recovery and a brighter future. It stands as a beacon of hope and a reminder to embrace the present moment on the remarkable journey to a sober life.