What is A.A.?
Alcoholics Anonymous is a voluntary, worldwide fellowship
of men and women from all walks of life who meet together
to attain and maintain sobriety. The only requirement for
membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues
or fees for A.A. membership
It is estimated that there are approximately 96,000 groups
and more than 2,000,000 members in 146 countries.
Relationships With Outside Agencies
The Fellowship has adopted a policy of “cooperation
but not affiliation” with other organizations concerned
with the problem of alcoholism. We have no opinion on
issues outside of A.A. and neither endorse nor oppose
How A.A. is Supported
Over the years, A.A. has affirmed and strengthened a tradition
of being fully self-supporting and of neither seeking
nor accepting contributions from nonmembers. Within the
Fellowship, the amount that may be contributed by any
individual member is limited to $1,000 a year.
How A.A. Members Maintain Sobriety
A.A. is a program of total abstinence. Members simply
stay away from one drink, one day at a time. Sobriety
is maintained through sharing experience, strength, and
hope at group meetings and through the suggested Twelve
Steps for recovery from alcoholism.
Why A.A. is Anonymous
Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of A.A. It disciplines
the Fellowship to govern itself by principles rather than
personalities. We are a society of peers. We strive to
make known our program of recovery, not individuals who
participate in the program. Anonymity in the public media
is assurance to all A.A.s, especially to newcomers, that
their A.A. membership will not be disclosed.
Anyone May Attend A.A. Open Meetings
Anyone may attend open meetings of A.A. These usually
consist of talks by a leader and two or three speakers
who share experience as it relates to their alcoholism
and their recovery in A.A. Some meetings are held for
the specific purposes of informing the nonalcoholic public
officials are invited. Closed discussion meetings are
for alcoholics only.
How A.A. Started
A.A. was started in 1935 by a New York stockbroker and
an Ohio surgeon (both now deceased), who had been “hopeless”
drunks. They founded A.A. in an effort to help others
who suffered from the disease of alcoholism and to stay
sober themselves. A.A. grew with the formation of autonomous
groups, first in the United States and then around the
How You Can Find A.A. in Your Town
Look for “Alcoholics Anonymous” in any telephone
directory. In most urban areas, a central A.A. office,
or “Intergroup,” staffed mainly by volunteer
A.A.s, will be happy to answer your questions and/or put
you in touch with those who can.
What A.A. Does Not Do:
...Keep membership records or case histories
...engage in or support research
...join "councils" or social agencies (although
A.A. members, groups and service offices frequently cooperate
...follow up or try to control its members
...make medical or psychiatric prognoses or dispense medicines
or psychiatric advice
...provide drying-out or nursing services or sanitariums
...offer religious services
...provide housing, food, clothing, jobs, money, or other
welfare or social services
...provide domestic or vocational counseling
...provide letters of reference to parole boards, lawyers,
court officials, social agencies, employers, etc..
The above comes from A.A.
General Service Conference-approved literature.
For more information contact A.A.