1. A.A. members share their experience with anyone seeking help with a drinking problem; they give person-to-person service or “sponsorship” to the alcoholic coming to A.A. from any source.
2. The A.A. program, set forth in our Twelve Steps, offers the alcoholic a way to develop a satisfying life without alcohol.
3. This program is discussed at A.A. group meetings.
a. Open speaker meetings — open to alcoholics and nonalcoholics. (Attendance at an open A.A. meeting is the best way to learn what A.A. is, what it does, and what it does not do.) At speaker meetings, A.A. members “tell their stories.” They describe their experiences with alcohol, how they came to A.A., and how their lives have changed as a result of Alcoholics Anonymous.
b. Open discussion meetings — one member speaks briefly about his or her drinking experience, and then leads a discussion on A.A. recovery or any drinking-related problem anyone brings up. (Closed meetings are for A.A.s or anyone who may have a drinking problem.)
c. Closed discussion meetings — conducted just as open discussions are, but for alcoholics or prospective A.A.s only.
d. Step meetings (usually closed) — discussion of one of the Twelve Steps.
e. A.A. members also take meetings into correctional and treatment facilities.
f. A.A. members may be asked to conduct the informational meetings about A.A. as a part of A.S.A.P. (Alcohol Safety Action Project) and D.W.I. (Driving While Intoxicated) programs. These meetings about A.A. are not regular A.A. group meetings.
*Reprinted from “F-2 – Information on Alcoholics Anonymous”, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
What A.A. Does NOT Do?
1. A.A. does not run membership drives to try to argue alcoholics into joining. A.A. is for alcoholics who want to get sober.
2. A.A. does not check up on its members to see that they don’t drink. It helps alcoholics to help themselves.
3. A.A. is not a religious organization. All members are free to decide on their own personal ideas about the meaning of life.
4. A.A. is not a medical organization, does not give out medicines or psychiatric advice.
5. A.A. does not run any hospitals, wards, or sanitariums or provide nursing services.
6. A.A. is not connected with any other organization. But A.A. does cooperate with organizations that fight alcoholism. Some members work for such organizations — but on their own — not as representatives of A.A.
7. A.A. does not accept money from sources outside A.A., either private or government.
8. A.A. does not offer any social services, does not provide housing, food, clothing, jobs, or money. It helps alcoholics stay sober, so they can earn these things for themselves.
9. Alcoholics Anonymous lives up to the “Anonymous” part of its title. It does not want members’ full names or faces to be revealed on radio, TV, newspapers or on new media technologies such as the Internet. And members do not tell other members’ names to people outside A.A. But members are not ashamed of belonging to A.A. They just want to encourage more alcoholics to come to A.A. for help. And they do not want to make heroes and heroines of themselves simply for taking care of their own health.
10. A.A. does not provide letters of reference to parole boards, lawyers, court officials, social agencies, employers, etc.
*Reprinted from “A Brief Guide to Alcoholics Anonymous”, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.