Get Started With A.A.
New To AA?
What can I expect at A.A.?
If a judge, school or employer has suggested you attend a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, they may believe there is evidence that you have a drinking problem. If you have an attendance card to be signed, most A.A. meeting secretaries will be happy to do so. Take a look at a current meeting directory. You’ll see the days, times, and places A.A. meetings are held. Meetings marked with an (O) are open meetings — meaning anyone can attend — while those marked with a (C) are closed meetings — only for people who have a desire to stop drinking.
Do I have to give my name?
When you go to an A.A. meeting you don’t have to give your name. Some groups will invite newcomers to introduce themselves by their first name only so that we can welcome and help them find their way around A.A. All participation in A.A. meetings is voluntary and it is not necessary to introduce yourself.
Will I have to talk?
It’s not necessary to explain why you’re there. If you’re called on and prefer to remain silent, just say, “I’ll pass.” Anyone is free to simply sit and listen at meetings.
Am I an Alcoholic?
We do not like to pronounce any individual as alcoholic. It’s a decision that each drinker has to make for themselves. But if, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic. And A.A. can help!
What is a Sponsor?
A sponsor is essentially a mentor or an alcoholic who has made some progress in the A.A. recovery program and shares that experience on a continuous, individual basis with another alcoholic who is attempting to attain or maintain sobriety through A.A. We urge you to not delay in asking someone to be your sponsor. Alcoholics recovered in A.A. want to share what they have learned with other alcoholics. We know from experience that our own sobriety is greatly strengthened when we share the solution.
Can I call and talk to someone before I go to a meeting?
Yes, we have a 24 hour hotline staffed with volunteers that are happy to answer any more questions that you may have. i.e.: What is a sponsor, what about a Higher Power etc. They will also happily share what A.A. is like for them and what meetings they enjoy.
Welcome and We’re Glad You’re Here!
What is an ‘open’ A.A. meeting? An open meeting of A.A. is a group meeting that any member of the community, alcoholic or non alcoholic, may attend. The only obligation is that of not disclosing the names of A.A. members outside the meeting.
Our open meeting will usually have a “leader” and may have other speakers. The leader opens and closes the meeting and introduces each speaker. The speakers at an open meeting are A.A members. Each, in turn, may review some individual drinking experiences that led to joining A.A. The speaker may also give his or her interpretation of the recovery program and suggest what sobriety has meant personally.
All views expressed are purely personal, since all members of A.A. speak only for themselves.
Our meetings are conducted with maximum informality, and all members are encouraged to participate in the discussions. The meetings are of particular value to the newcomer, since they provide an opportunity to ask questions that may trouble a beginner, and to get the benefit of “older” members experience with the recovery program. -Reprinted from Frequently Asked Questions About A.A. Pamphlet, Portable Document Format file, page 22. – Answers the questions most frequently asked about A.A. by alcoholics seeking help, as well as by their families and friends. Printing a single copy of this pamphlet is permitted, in accordance with the A.A. World Services, Inc. Content Use Policy.
The A.A. Group Pamphlet, Portable Document Format file. – Informal guide tells how a group works most effectively, how a new group can be started, and how each group can be linked to A.A. as a whole. Printing a single copy of this pamphlet is permitted, in accordance with the A.A. World Services, Inc. Content Use Policy.
New To Alcoholics Anonymous?What is Alcoholics Anonymous? Alcoholics 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 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. Copyright by The A.A. Grapevine, Inc.
Questions & Answers on Sponsorship Pamphlet, Portable Document Format file version. – Shared AA experience to answer 34 questions likely to be asked by persons seeking sponsors, persons wanting to be sponsors, and groups planning sponsorship activity.The A.A. Grapevine and La Viña: Our Meetings in Print Pamphlet, Portable Document Format file.- Provides basic information on the Grapevine magazine. Printing a single copy of this item is permitted, in accordance with the A.A. World Services, Inc. Content Use Policy.The A.A. for Alcoholics with Mental Health Issues and their Sponsors Pamphlet, PDF version.
The “God” Word – Agnostic and Atheist Members in A.A. Pamphlet, PDF version.
Humility: “Perpetual quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble. It is never to be fretted or vexed, irritable or sore: to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised, it is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and shut the door and kneel to my Father in secret and in peace, as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and about is seeming trouble.” – Reprinted from Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers, page 222, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
The Responsibility Statement reads:
I am Responsible.
When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help,
I want the hand of A.A. always to be there.
And for that: I am responsible.
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