More About A.A.

What is A.A.?

Alcoholics Anonymous is a voluntary, worldwide fellowship of people from all walks of life who meet together to attain and maintain sobriety. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership

Current Membership

It is estimated that there are more than 117,000 groups and over 2,000,000 members in over 180 countries

Relations With Outside Agencies

The Fellowship has adopted a policy of “cooperation but not affiliation with other organizations concerned with the problem of alcoholism. We have no opinion on issues outside A.A. and neither endorse nor oppose any causes.

How A.A. Is Supported

Over the years, Alcoholics Anonymous has affirmed and strengthened a tradition of being fully self-Supporting and of neither seeking nor accepting contributions from nonmembers. Within the fellowship, the amount that may be contributed by any individual member is limited to $5,000 a year.

How A.A. Members Maintain Sobriety

A.A. is a program of total abstinence. Members simply stay away from one drink, one day at a time. Sobriety is maintained through sharing experience, strength, and hope at group meetings and through the suggested Twelve Steps for recovery from alcoholism.

Why Alcoholics Anonymous is “Anonymous”

Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of A.A. It disciplines the Fellowship to govern itself by principles rather than personalities. We are a society of peers. We strive to make known our program of recovery, not individuals who participate in the program. Anonymity in the public media is assurance to all A.A.s, especially to newcomers, that their A.A. membership will not be disclosed

Anyone May Attend A.A. Meetings

Anyone may attend open meetings of A.A. These usually consist of talks by a leader and two or three speakers who share experience as it relates to their alcoholism and their recovery in A.A. Some meetings are held for the specific purpose of informing the non-alcoholic public about A.A. Doctors, members of the clergy, and public officials are invited. Closed Discussion meetings are for alcoholics only.

How A.A. Started

A.A. was started in 1935 by a New York stockbroker and an Ohio Surgeon (both now deceased), who had been “hopeless” drunks. They founded A.A. in an effort to help others who suffered from the disease of alcoholism and to stay sober themselves. A.A. grew with the formation of autonomous groups, first in the United States and then around the World.

How You Can Find A.A. In Your Town

Look for “Alcoholics Anonymous” in any telephone directory. In most urban areas, a central A.A. office, or “intergroup,” staffed mainly by volunteer A.A.s will be happy to answer your questions and/or put you in touch with those who can.

What A.A. Does Not Do

A.A. does not: Keep membership records or case histories… engage in or support research… join “councils” or social agencies (although A.A. members, groups and service offices frequently cooperate with them)… follow up or try to control its members… make medical or psychiatric prognoses or dispense medicines or psychiatric advice… provide drying-out or nursing services or sanitariums… offer religious services… provide housing, food, clothing, jobs, money, or other welfare or social services… provide domestic or vocational counseling… provide letters of reference to parole boards, lawyers, court officials, social agencies, employers, etc.

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 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 to achieve sobriety.

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. 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 to practice these principles in all our affairs.
  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 but trusted servants; the 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 has but on primary purpose — to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
  6. An A.A. group ought never 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 non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
  9. A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
  10. Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues, hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy
  11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.
  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

We of Alcoholics Anonymous are a group of persons to whom alcohol has become a major problem. We have banded together in a sincere effort to help ourselves and other problem drinkers recover health and maintain sobriety.

Definitions of alcoholics are many and varied. For brevity we think of an alcoholic as one whose life has become unmanageable to any degree due to the use of alcohol.

We believe that the alcoholic is suffering from a disease for which no cure has yet been found. We profess no curative powers but have formulated a plan to arrest alcoholism.

From the vast experience of our many members we have learned that successful membership demands total abstinence. Attempts at controlled drinking by the alcoholic inevitably fail.

Membership requirement demands only a sincere desire on the part of the applicant to maintain total abstinence.

There are no dues or fees in A.A.; no salaried officers. Money Necessary for operating expenses is secured by voluntary contributions.

Alcoholics Anonymous does not perform miracles, believing that such power rests only in God.

We adhere to no particular creed or religion. We do believe, however, that an appeal for help to one’s own interpretation of a Higher Power, or God, is indispensable to a satisfactory adjustment to life’s problems.

Alcoholics Anonymous is not a prohibition or temperance movement in any sense of the word. We have no criticism of the controlled drinker. We are concerned only with the Alcoholic

We attempt to follow a program of Recovery which has for its chief objectives sobriety for ourselves; help for other alcoholics who desire it; amends for past wrongs; humility; honesty; tolerance; and spiritual growth.

We welcome an appreciate the cooperation of the medical profession and the help of the clergy.

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