What is it? Where do I start? What do I do? Where do I go?
◊ 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?
- 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.
- The 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:
- Recruit members or furnish initial motivation for alcoholics to recover.
• Keep membership records or case histories.
• Follow up or try to control its members.
• Make medical or psychological diagnoses or prognoses.
• Provide hospitalization, drugs, or medical or psychiatric treatment.
• Provide housing, food, clothing, jobs, money or other such services.
• Provide domestic or vocational counseling.
• Engage in or sponsor research.
• Affiliate with social agencies (though many members and service offices do
cooperate with them).
• Offer religious services.
• Engage in any controversy about alcohol or other matters.
• Accept money for its services or contributions from non-A.A. sources.
• Provide letters of reference to parole boards, attorneys, court officials, schools,
businesses, social agencies, or any other organization or institution.
◊ What Does Anonymity Mean To A.A.?
Members of Alcoholics Anonymous make a point of carrying the message about their own recovery in A.A. on a person-to-person basis — but never disclose the membership of others. In this way, they may serve as examples of recovery and thus stimulate active alcoholics to seek help.
In the public media, however — such as TV, radio, films, press and the Internet — A.A. Traditions urge members to maintain strict anonymity, for three reasons;
- We have learned from our own experience that the active alcoholic will shun any source of help which might reveal his or her identity.
- Past events indicate that those alcoholics who seek public recognition as A.A. members may drink again.
- Public attention and publicity for individual members of A.A. would invite self-serving competition and conflict over differing personal views.
Anonymity in public media guards the unity of A.A. members and preserves the attraction of the program for the millions who still need help.
Lebanon Area Alcoholics Anonymous
◊ Beginners meetings
- Check out our Meeting List for Beginners Meetings.
• All meetings are for every person with a desire to stop drinking, whether it’s your 1st day or 1,000th day of sobriety.
◊ Sponsor(a person who is willing to help you personally)
- Consider asking someone to be your sponsor.
Having a sponsor is like being lost and turning on your GPS to guide you to your destination.
Remember this:You neverhave to feel this way again!
You are not alone!