Am I an alcoholic?
If you repeatedly drink more than you intend or want to, if you get into trouble or have memory lapses when you drink, you may be an alcoholic. Only you can decide. It is often suggested, attend six meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and listen for the similarities in the stories of others.
What can I do if I am worried about my drinking?
Seek help. Alcoholics Anonymous can help. AA is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope that they may solve their common problem and help others recover from alcoholism.
What is Alcoholics Anonymous?
We are a Fellowship of men and women 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 in A.A.
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. You are always welcome, the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. We are here when you are ready for help.
What happens if I meet people I know?
They will be there for the same reason you are there. Our Traditions tell us to not disclose our identities to outsiders. You retain as much anonymity as you wish. That is one of the reasons we call ourselves Alcoholics Anonymous.
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.
How can this help me with my drinking problem?
We in A.A. know what it is like to be addicted to alcohol, and to be unable to keep promises made to others and ourselves that we will stop drinking. We are not professional therapists. Our only qualification for helping others to recover from alcoholism is that we have stopped drinking ourselves. And seeing we’ve done it is surety it is possible.
Why do A.A.s keep on going to meetings after they are cured?
We in A.A. believe there is no such thing as a cure for alcoholism. We can never return to normal drinking, and our ability to stay away from alcohol depends on maintaining our physical, mental, and spiritual health. This we can achieve by going to meetings regularly and putting into practice what we learn there. In addition, we find it helps us to stay sober if we help other alcoholics, this is our Step 12.
How do I join A.A.?
You are an A.A. member if and when you say so. The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking, and many of us were not very wholehearted about that when we first approached A.A.
How much does A.A. membership cost?
There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership. An A.A. group will usually have a collection during the meeting to cover expenses, such as rent, coffee, etc., and to this all members are free to contribute as much or as little as they wish, or nothing at all.
Is A.A. a religious organization?
No. Nor is it allied with any religious organization.
There’s a lot of talk about God, though, isn’t there?
The majority of A.A. members believe that we have found the solution to our drinking problem not through individual willpower, but through a power greater than ourselves. However, everyone defines this power as he or she wishes. Many people call it God, others think it is the A.A. group, still others don’t believe in it at all. There is room in A.A. for people of all shades of belief and non-belief.
Can I bring my family to an A.A. meeting?
Family members or close friends are welcome at “Open” A.A. meetings. Discuss this with your local contact.
What advice do you give new members?
In our experience, the people who recover in A.A. are those who:
- (a) stay away from the first drink;
- (b) attend A.A. meetings regularly;
- (c) seek out the people in A.A. who have successfully stayed sober for some time;
- (d) try to put into practice the A.A. program of recovery;
- (e) obtain and study the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous.
How can I contact A.A.?
If you are in the Los Angeles area call Alcoholics Anonymous Central Office of Los Angeles at (323) 936-4343 and a volunteer will answer your questions and help you find a meeting. If you aren’t, look for Alcoholics Anonymous in your local telephone directory. These telephones are answered by A.A. volunteers who will be happy to answer your questions, or put you in touch with those who can. If there is no A.A. telephone service close to you, write or phone the A.A. General Service Office.