Information on Alcoholics Anonymous


For Anyone New Coming to A.A.


For Anyone Referring People to A.A.


This information is both for people who may have a drinking problem and for those in contact with people who have, or are suspected of having, a problem. Most of the information is available in more detail in literature published by A.A. World Services, Inc. 

 

What Is A.A.?


Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem. Singleness of Purpose and Problems Other Than Alcohol Some professionals refer to alcoholism and drug addiction as “substance abuse” or “chemical dependency.” Nonalcoholics are, therefore, sometimes introduced to A.A. and encouraged to attend A.A. meetings. Nonalcoholics may attend open A.A. meetings as observers, but only those with a drinking problem may attend closed A.A. meetings.

 

What Does A.A. Do?

1. A.A. members share their experience with anyone seeking help with a drinking problem; they give person-to-person service or “sponsorship” to the alcoholic coming to A.A. from any source.

2. The A.A. program, set forth in our Twelve Steps, offers the alcoholic a way to develop a satisfying life without alcohol.

3. This program is discussed at A.A. group meetings.

a. Open speaker meetings — open to alcoholics and nonalcoholics. (Attendance at an open A.A. meeting is the best way to learn what A.A. is, what it does, and what it does not do.) At speaker meetings, A.A. members “tell their stories.” They describe their experiences with alcohol, how they came to A.A., and how their lives have changed as a result of Alcoholics Anonymous.

b. Open discussion meetings — one member speaks briefly about his or her drinking experience, and then leads a discussion on A.A. recovery or any drinking-related problem anyone brings up. (Closed meetings are for A.A.s or anyone who may have a drinking problem.)

c. Closed discussion meetings — conducted just as open discussions are, but for alcoholics or prospective A.A.s only.

d. Step meetings (usually closed) — discussion of one of the Twelve Steps.

e. A.A. members also take meetings into correctional and treatment facilities.

f. A.A. members may be asked to conduct the informational meetings about A.A. as a part of A.S.A.P. (Alcohol Safety Action Project) and D.W.I. (Driving While Intoxicated) programs. These meetings about A.A. are not regular A.A. group meetings.

 

What A.A. Does Not Do


A.A. does not:

1. Furnish initial motivation for alcoholics to recover.

2. Solicit members.

3. Engage in or sponsor research.

4. Keep attendance records or case histories.

5. Join “councils” of social agencies (although A.A. members, groups and service offices frequently cooperate with them).

6. Follow up or try to control its members.

7. Make medical or psychological diagnoses or prognoses.

8. Provide detox or nursing services, hospitalization, drugs, or any medical or psychiatric treatment.

9. Offer religious services or host/sponsor retreats.

10. Engage in education about alcohol.

11. Provide housing, food, clothing, jobs, money, or any other welfare or social services.

12. Provide domestic or vocational counseling.

13. Accept any money for its services, or any contributions from non-A.A. sources.

14. Provide letters of reference to parole boards, lawyers, court officials, social agencies, employers, etc.


   

 

What AA is & isn't? (pdf)
Alcoholics Anonymous is a worldwide fellowship of men and women who help each other to stay sober. They offer the same help to anyone who has a drinking problem and wants to do something about it. Since they are all alcoholics themselves, they know what the illness feels like - and they have learned how to recover from it in AA. read more ...

Can AA Help Me Too?
"AA won't work for me. I'm too far gone.""It's nice for those people, but I'm president of the PTA" I'm too old. Too young. Not religious enough. I'm gay. Or Jewish. A professional person. A member of the clergy. Too smart. Or too undeducated. read more ...

For the Media
Friendly support and cooperation from the media has made it possible for Alcoholics Anonymous to carry its message of hope in South Africa and around the world. We know that A.A. would not have reached many thousands of men and women without this assistance. read more ...

Is there an Alcoholic in your Life?
If someone you love has a drinking problem, this booklet will provide you with facts about a simple program of recovery. through its help, over a million people who once drank too much are now living a comfortable and productive lives without alcohol read more ...