Information for Newcomers
What is A.A.?
We are a Fellowship of people who have lost the ability to control our drinking and have found ourselves in various kinds of trouble as a result of drinking. We attempt — most of us successfully — to create a satisfying way of life without alcohol. For this we find we need the help and support of other alcoholics.
Is A.A. for Me?
Do you think you have a problem with alcohol? Do you want to stop drinking, but find you cannot quit entirely or you have little control over the amount you drink?
Click here to take a brief self-assessment. A.A. has been helping alcoholics recover for more than 80 years. A.A.’s program of recovery is built on the simple foundation of one alcoholic sharing with another. If your drinking is out of control, A.A. can help.
How do I find a Meeting?
Download the Meeting Guide App
The app helps people find A.A. meetings and resources near them. The Meeting Guide app is available for iOS and Android smartphones. Click here to download or the picture below to download the app for your device.
What are the different types of Meetings?
Open Meeting – An open meeting of A.A. is a group meeting that any member of the community, alcoholic or nonalcoholic, may attend. The only obligation is that of not disclosing the names of A.A. members outside the meeting.
Closed Meeting – A closed meeting is for A.A. members only, or for those who have a drinking problem and have a desire to stop drinking. Closed meetings give members an opportunity to discuss particular phases of their alcoholic problem that can be understood best only by other alcoholics.
For more information about meetings, please click here.
Common Questions and Answers
What happens at an A.A. meeting? – An A.A. meeting may take one of several forms, but at any meeting you will find alcoholics talking about what drinking did to their lives and personalities, what actions they took to help themselves, and how they are living their lives today?
Am I an alcoholic? – Only you can decide. No one in A.A. will tell you whether you are or are not. That being said, if you repeatedly drink more than you intend to or even want to, if you get into trouble, or if you have memory lapses when you drink, you may be an alcoholic.
If I go to an A.A. meeting, does that commit me to anything? – No. A.A. does not keep membership files or attendance records. You do not have to reveal anything about yourself. No one will bother you if you don’t want to come back.
What happens if I meet people I know? – They will be there for the same reason you are there. They will not disclose your identity to outsiders. At A.A. you retain as much anonymity as you wish. That is one of the reasons we call ourselves Alcoholics Anonymous.
How much does A.A. membership cost? – There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership.
Is A.A. a religious organization? – No. Nor is it allied with any religious organization.
What is a Sponsor? – When we first begin to attend A.A. meetings, we may feel confused, apprehensive, and alone. We may have questions and while people at meetings can provide answers, that alone isn’t enough. A sponsor is another member in the program that can help guide us through the steps and helps answer our questions. So, we select an A.A. member with whom we can feel comfortable, someone with whom we can talk freely and confidentially, and we ask that person to be our sponsor.
A.A. Brochures for Newcomers
Hear Members Share About Recover
Copyright © 2022 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All rights reserved. All Rights Reserved · Portions of this website are reprinted with permission from A.A. World Services, Inc., The A.A. Grapevine, Inc. A.A. information is available from the national General Service Office web page. This site is not endorsed by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, nor does it represent Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole. Images used with the permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.
Images used under license from Shutterstock.com.