In addiction recovery, “old-timer” refers to those with long-term sobriety who actively support others in their recovery. Originating in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), it’s a term of respect for their wisdom and dedication. Old-timers share their recovery stories offering hope and advice to those newer in their journey. Their role goes beyond their own sobriety; they’re committed to helping others, demonstrating that sustained recovery is possible.

The term “old-timer” dates back to 1856 and has evolved within AA and recovery communities to also reflect respect within the context of their original groups, such as biker gangs. This shows a cultural blend of respect for sobriety and community service.

Old-timers in twelve-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are essential for maintaining the traditions and teachings, ensuring their preservation for future generations. Their role goes beyond the length of sobriety to reflect a deep commitment to supporting others in recovery. By sharing their experiences and offering mentorship, old-timers provide stability, support newcomers and uphold the program’s integrity. Their involvement is critical for the personal growth of individuals within the recovery community and for sustaining the program’s continuity.

Newcomers in recovery introduce fresh perspectives and energy, enhancing group discussions and benefiting all members. The interaction between newcomers and old timers is crucial, creating a supportive environment where wisdom and new ideas are shared for mutual growth and learning. This dynamic highlights the core principle of mutual aid fundamental to recovery programs.

For newcomers, connecting with an old-timer can be highly beneficial. Their advice, rooted in years of experience, offers a unique perspective and support system. It’s important to note that the term “old-timer” is flexible regarding the specific length of sobriety; it’s more about the level of commitment and understanding they bring to help others in their recovery.


An old-timer can be defined as an individual who has been in a twelve step recovery program for many years. Get help from qualified counsellors.

  • Covered by Medical Aid
  • Select, Private Clinics & Rehabs
  • Exclusive Facilities, Tailored Treatment Plan


    View More

    Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specialising in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance our organisation facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualised care that addresses the physical, mental and social needs of patients.

    Our team, led by Gareth Carter, offers empathetic and professional support, guiding you through every step of the treatment process. Whether you're in South Africa or abroad, our acceptance of various insurance plans makes quality care accessible, providing a platform for lasting recovery and a healthier future.

    Inpatient Rehab

    Rehab care is a good option if you are at risk of experiencing strong withdrawal symptoms when you try stop a substance. This option would also be recommended if you have experienced recurrent relapses or if you have tried a less-intensive treatment without success.


    If you're committed to your sobriety but cannot take a break from your daily duties for an inpatient program. Outpatient rehab treatment might suit you well if you are looking for a less restricted format for addiction treatment or simply need help with mental health.


    Therapy can be good step towards healing and self-discovery. If you need support without disrupting your routine, therapy offers a flexible solution for anyone wishing to enhance their mental well-being or work through personal issues in a supportive, confidential environment.

    Mental Health

    Are you having persistent feelings of being swamped, sad or have sudden surges of anger or intense emotional outbursts? These are warning signs of unresolved trauma mental health. A simple assesment by a mental health expert could provide valuable insights into your recovery.

    Finding the right rehab close to you is simple with WeDoRecover. Our network includes the finest rehab centers, ensuring personalised, quality care for your recovery needs. Let Gareth Carter and our empathetic team help guide you to a center that feels right for you, offering expert care and support. Start your healing today by choosing a rehab that's not just close to you, but also that truly cares about your loved ones recovery.

    Scroll to top
    Call Us Now