Information for Newcomers
What is A.A.?
A.A. Preamble – 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 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.
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.
What are Meetings Like?
A.A. meetings are held in-person, online, or on the telephone. 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 experience, strength, and hope.
The chair usually opens the meeting with the A.A. Preamble and a few remarks. Some call for a moment of silence and/or recite the Serenity Prayer. The chair will often ask if there are any people new to A.A. attending the meeting who would like to introduce themselves. It isn’t mandatory to identify yourself but it might be helpful if you are attending your first meeting.
If you happen to meet people you know at a meeting, they will be there for the same reason you are. They will not disclose your identity to others and you will retain as much anonymity as you wish – this is one reason we call ourselves Alcoholics Anonymous.
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.
What is the Big Book?
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 of A.A. got sober. Now translated into over 70 languages, it is still considered A.A.’s basic text.
What is the Twelve and Twelve?
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions explains 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.
A.A. Brochures for Newcomers
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.
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