|What Is AA?
Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience,
strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common
problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.
The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.
There are no dues or fees for AA membership; we are self-supporting
through our own contributions.
AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization
or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither
endorses nor opposes any causes.
Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve
Copyright © The AA Grapevine, Inc. Reprinted with permission.
For Anyone New Coming to A.A.
For Anyone Referring People to A.A.
The primary purpose of A.A. is to carry its message
of recovery to the alcoholic seeking help. Almost every alcoholism
treatment tries to help the alcoholic maintain sobriety. Regardless
of the road we follow, we all head for the same destination, recovery
of the alcoholic person. Together, we can do what none of us could
accomplish alone. We can serve as a source of personal experience
and be an ongoing support system for recovering alcoholics.
Singleness of Purpose and Problems Other Than Alcohol
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. Anyone may attend open
A.A. meetings, but only those with a drinking problem may attend
A renowned psychiatrist, who served as a nonalcoholic
trustee of the A.A. General Service Board, made the following statement:
“Singleness of purpose is essential to the effective treatment of
alcoholism. The reason for such exaggerated focus is to overcome
denial. The denial associated with alcoholism is cunning, baffling,
and powerful and affects the patient, helper, and the community.
Unless alcoholism is kept relentlessly in the foreground, other issues
will usurp everybody’s attention.”
What Does A.A. Do?
- 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
A.A. program, set forth in our Twelve Steps, offers the alcoholic
a way to develop a satisfying life without alcohol.
- This program is
discussed at A.A. group meetings.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Closed discussion meetings
— conducted just as open discussions are, but for alcoholics
or prospective A.A.s only.
- Step meetings (usually closed) —
discussion of one of the Twelve Steps.
- A.A. members also take
meetings into correctional and treatment facilities.
- 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:
- Furnish initial motivation for alcoholics to recover
- Solicit members
- Engage in or sponsor research
- Keep attendance records or case
- Join “councils” of social agencies
- Follow up or try to control
- Make medical or psychological diagnoses or prognoses
- Provide drying-out
or nursing services, hospitalization, drugs, or any medical or
- Offer religious services or host/sponsor retreats.
- Engage in education
- Provide housing, food, clothing, jobs, money, or any
other welfare or social services
- Provide domestic or vocational
- Accept any money for its services, or any contributions
from non-A.A. sources
- Provide letters of reference to parole boards,
lawyers, court officials, social agencies, employers, etc.
following are from the AA World Services
web site and are copyrighted by AA World
Read the book Alcoholics
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