Life as a recovering addict is anything but easy. It requires a constant dose of motivation to stay the course.
When faced with challenges on their journey to sobriety, some may seek inspiration from sources like yoga, mindfulness meditation, and nature. For others, it’s the mere sight and texture of anniversary medallions that makes a drug-free future worth looking forward to.
If you’re wondering what anniversary medallions all about are, you must thank Google algorithms for leading you to the right place. Read below as we highlight what these items are, with a focus on their significance and what they’re made from.
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Unpacking Anniversary Medallions
The term “anniversary medallions” may be generally construed to mean any medal received to celebrate an anniversary. The anniversary could be related to the honoree’s birthday, graduation, or wedding.
But in the context of substance abuse, anniversary medallions are medals awarded to people for managing to stay sober for a specified duration. These gifts are commonly known as recovery medallions or sobriety medallions. Various other words may also be used interchangeably with “medallions,” including chips, coins, and tokens.
NA medallions are probably the most popular types of sobriety chips. Recipients of such tokens are typically people who’ve stayed drug-free for a given number of days or months. The NA initials stand for Narcotics Anonymous, the global fellowship whose members comprise recovering drug addicts.
AA medallions are another noteworthy type of sobriety token you’ll come across. These chips are issued to those who’ve managed to be alcohol-free for specific durations. They’re named after Alcoholics Anonymous, the global organization of former alcoholics.
But as you shall find, not every chip that bears the initials NA or AA is issued by these leading abstinence fellowships. You could receive the tokens by joining any sobriety program that has these rewarding systems in place. In fact, the medals may be manufactured by companies unaffiliated with both NA and AA.
Exploring the History of Anniversary Medallions
The history of sobriety medallions goes way back. In the earlier days of Alcoholics Anonymous, people often carried personal mementos as a reminder of the significance of sobriety.
Clarence H. Snyder is one notable personality who gave meaning to anniversary medallions. Snyder, who founded the AA group number 3 in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1939, often carried a silver medallion to commemorate his last drink. The once chronic alcoholic had his last sip on February 11, 1938, and managed to keep sober until his death on March 22, 1984.
However, Sister Mary Ignatia Gavin, the Irish-born American nun, officially began using AA medallions. Sister Ignatia often issued sobriety coins to drunks who were leaving Akron-based St. Thomas Hospital. She gave her Sacred Heart Medallions after five days of being alcohol-free and encouraged the recipients to pledge further abstinence in tribute to God and AA.
But while anniversary medallions achieved global recognition courtesy of Alcoholics Anonymous, these chips predate the abstinence organization. For instance, there’s a record that Sister Ignatia’s Sacred Heart Medallions had been used by other religious figures as early as the 1840s.
Sobriety coins were eventually adopted as anniversary gifts in the 1940s, following the popularization of celebrating spiritual rebirths by a group in Elmira, New York.
Marking Your Anniversary in Style with NA Medallions
As previously pointed out, former addicts have much to fear on their journey to cleanliness. One of their most dreadful worries is the ubiquitous presence of drug cues. You simply cannot walk a mile without stumbling upon a smoker or stoner. Our television programs aren’t better, as an hour hardly passes by without a drug-related ad flashing onto the screen. Without a solid source of inspiration, these challenges can quickly bog you down. But that’s precisely where anniversary medallions come in.
Sobriety coins help you celebrate the period you’ve managed to be sober. This duration can range from 24 hours to several years. What matters is that you’ve managed to unchain yourself from the shackles of substance abuse for the prescribed period.
But recovery coins aren’t only about celebrating past accomplishments. These chips can also inspire you to look into the future with a renewed sense of optimism. Note that there’s a medal for each drug-free milestone achieved. So, every token received will motivate you to work harder for the next.
You’ll also realize that recovery chips come in diverse colors. Whether you display them in your trophy cabinet or hang them on your bedroom wall, anniversary medallions will transform your home into a magical spectacle.
Sobriety coins also make excellent recovery gifts to your close friends and relatives who’ve made the difficult decision to quit substance use. Presenting these coins on their respective anniversaries is a clever way to nudge them on their newfound path toward cleanliness.
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Unveiling Different Colors for Different Sobriety Anniversaries
Variety is one of the most exciting things about anniversary medallions. These tokens are available in different colors, each symbol celebrating specific sobriety durations.
Below is the chromatic timeline of anniversary chips;
- Silver – 24 hours
- Red – 1 month
- Gold – 1 months
- Green – 3 months
- Purple – 4 months
- Pink – 5 months
- Dark blue – 6 months
- Copper – 7 months
- Red – 8 months
- Purple – 9 months
- Gold – 10 months
- Green – 11 months
- Bronze – 1 year
Of noteworthy importance are bronze anniversary coins.
Recovery chips are generally made from either aluminum or silver and then plated with another material to produce the desired color. However, most sobriety coins given after a year of abstinence are typically fashioned from and/or plated with bronze.
Bronze resonates with power and strength. So, bronze-plated anniversary coins are believed to be spiritually energizing. These medallions can imbue you with the strength you require to stay alcohol-free much longer.
Bronze also represents enlightenment. Basic history reveals incredible exploits by humans during the Bronze Age. As a mark of enlightenment, receiving bronze anniversary medallions can awaken you to intriguing truths otherwise obscured by substance use.
Glamor and glitz are other noteworthy qualities represented by bronze. Although less precious than silver or gold, bronze still stands out as a symbol of class and prestige. Bronze anniversary coins can infuse elegance into an otherwise modest interior décor.
Anniversary medallions help to celebrate the achievements made on the path to sobriety while also encouraging the recipient to abstain from drugs and alcohol much longer. These chips are available for anyone who has completed a sobriety program within 24 hours.
But like any award received incrementally, the idea is to aim for bronze anniversary medals. Such tokens symbolize the highest accomplishments in your quest to attain complete sobriety from substance abuse.