Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people 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 membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions.
A.A. 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 to achieve sobriety.
Reprinted with permission of the AA Grapevine, 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.
What Does A.A. Do?
- AA 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 AA from any source.
- The AA program, set forth in our Twelve Steps, offers the alcoholic a way to develop a satisfying life without alcohol.
- This program is discussed at AA group meetings:
- Open speaker meetings – open to alcoholics and non-alcoholics. (Attendance at an open AA meeting is the best way to learn what AA is, what it does, and what it does not do.) At speaker meetings, AA members “tell their stories.” They describe their experiences with alcohol, how they came to AA, 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 AA recovery or any drinking-related problem anyone brings up. (Closed meetings are for AAs or anyone who may have a drinking problem.)
- Closed discussion meetings – conducted just as open discussions are, but for alcoholics or prospective AAs only.
- Step meetings (usually closed) – discussion of one of the Twelve Steps.
- AA members also take meetings into correctional and treatment facilities.
- AA members may be asked to conduct the informational meetings about AA as a part of A.S.A.P. (Alcohol SafetyAction Project) and D.W.I. (Driving While Intoxicated) programs. These meetings about AA are not regular AAgroup meetings.
Is A.A. for You?
Only you can decide whether you want to give Alcoholics Anonymous a try—whether you think it can help you. We who are in A.A. came because we finally gaveup trying to control our drinking. We still hated to admit that we could never drink safely. Then we heard from other A.A. members that we were sick. (We thought so for years!) We found out that many people suffered from the same feelings of guilt and loneliness and hopelessness that we did. We found out that we had these feelings because we had the disease of alcoholism. We decided to try to face up to what alcohol had done to us. Here are some of the questions we tried to answer honestly. If we answered YES to four or more questions, we were in deep trouble with our drinking. See how you do. Remember, there is no disgrace in facing up to the fact that you have a problem.
The Twelve Steps Of Alcoholics Anonymous
A.A.’s Twelve Steps are a group of principles, spiritual in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole.
The Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous
A.A.’s Twelve Traditions apply to the life of the Fellowship itself. They outline the means by which A.A. maintains its unity and relates itself to the world about it, the way it lives and grows.
Read the Big Book and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions Online:
A.A. World Services eBook publishing program:
A.A. Grapevine: The International Journal of Alcoholics Anonymous