Only you can decide whether you want to give Alcoholics Anonymous a try. Admitting that you might need help or admitting that you’re an alcoholic takes courage. There are a lot of resources that may help you decide whether A.A. could be right for you.
We want to help. Contact us anytime, or learn more by exploring the information below, and then get in touch with us. You can even check out a meeting. “You don’t have to be alone anymore.”
What Is AA?
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people who come together to solve their drinking problems. It doesn’t cost anything to attend A.A. meetings. There are no age or education requirements to participate. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about their drinking problem.
A.A.’s primary purpose is to help alcoholics achieve sobriety.
Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as the “Big Book,” presents the A.A. program for recovery from alcoholism. First published in 1939, its purpose was to show other alcoholics how the first 100 people in A.A. got sober. Now translated into over 70 languages, it is still considered A.A.’s basic text.
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. We made a decision to turn our will and lives over to God’s care as we understood Him.
4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. We made a list of all the people we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when doing so would injure them or others.
10. We continued to take personal inventory and, when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in all our affairs.
How AA Works
Members use the Twelve Steps to maintain sobriety.
Groups use the Twelve Traditions to stay unified.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions explain the 24 basic principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. Known as the “Twelve and Twelve,” the book dedicates a chapter to each Step and each Tradition. Chapters provide an interpretation of these principles for personal recovery and the organization of the group.
1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.
2. For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God, as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are trusted servants; they do not govern.
3. The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.
4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.
5. Each group’s primary purpose is to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
6. An A.A. group ought never to endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
7. Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
8. Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
9. A.A., as such, ought never to be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible for those they serve.
10. Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence, the A.A. name ought never to be drawn into public controversy.
11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need to always maintain personal anonymity at the press, radio, and film levels.
12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, reminding us to place principles before personalities.
Who Are AA Members?
We are people who have discovered and admitted that we cannot control alcohol.
We have learned that we must live without it to live normal, happy lives.
We are not anti-alcohol, and we have no wish to reform the world. We are not allied with any group, cause, or religious denomination.
We welcome new members, but we do not recruit them.
We do not impose our experience with problem drinking on others, but we share it when asked to do so.
We know our own sobriety depends on connecting with other alcoholics.
Frequently Asked Questions about A.A.
Is A.A. a religious organization?
No. Nor is it allied with any religious organization.
What advice do you give new members?
- Stay away from the first drink.
- Attend A.A. meetings regularly.
- Seek out the people in A.A. who have successfully stayed sober for some time.
- Try to put into practice the A.A. program of recovery.
- Obtain and study the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous.
What happens if I meet people I know?
They will be there for the same reason you are there. Our Traditions tell us not to disclose our identities to outsiders. You retain as much anonymity as you wish. That is one of the reasons we call ourselves Alcoholics Anonymous.
How do I find a meeting?
Can I bring my family to an A.A. meeting?
Family members or close friends are welcome at Open A.A. meetings. Call Central Office to find out.