What Does A.A. Do?
AA works through members telling their stories of what we used to be like, what happened and what we are like now. The AA program, known as The Twelve Steps, provides a framework for self-examination and a road to recovery, free of alcohol.
What does A.A. NOT do?
- A. does not run membership drives to try to argue alcoholics into joining. A.A. is for alcoholics who want to get sober.
- A. does not check up on its members to see that they don’t drink. It helps alcoholics to help themselves.
- A. is not a religious organization. All members are free to decide on their own personal ideas about the meaning of life.
- A. is not a medical organization, does not give out medicines or psychiatric advice.
- A. does not run any hospitals, wards, or sanitariums or provide nursing services.
- 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.
- A. does not accept money from sources outside A.A., either private or government.
- 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.
- 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.
- A. does not provide letters of reference to parole boards, lawyers, court officials, social agencies, employers, etc.
Is A.A. For Me?
Alcoholics Anonymous (“A.A.”) is for anyone who thinks he or she may have a problem with alcohol. Whether one is an alcoholic is the first question that every alcoholic must answer, and the first step on the road to recovery can found in the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Visit Is A.A. For Me? and see questions below:
- Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but only lasted for a
couple of days?
Most of us in A.A. made all kinds of promises to ourselves and to our families. We
could not keep them. Then we came to A.A. A.A. said: “Just try not to drink today.”
(If you do not drink today, you cannot get drunk today.)
- Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking– stop
telling you what to do?
In A.A. we do not tell anyone to do anything. We just talk about our own drinking,
the trouble we got into, and how we stopped. We will be glad to help you, if you want
- Have you ever switched from one kind of drink to another in the hope that
this would keep you from getting drunk?
We tried all kinds of ways. We made our drinks weak. Or just drank beer. Or we did
not drink cocktails. Or only drank on weekends. You name it, we tried it. But if we
drank anything with alcohol in it, we usually got drunk eventually.
- Have you had to have an eye-opener upon awakening during the past year?
Do you need a drink to get started, or to stop shaking? This is a pretty sure sign that
you are not drinking “socially.”
- Do you envy people who can drink without getting into trouble?
At one time or another, most of us have wondered why we were not like most people,
who really can take it or leave it.
- Have you had problems connected with drinking during the past year?
Be honest! Doctors say that if you have a problem with alcohol and keep on
drinking, it will get worse — never better. Eventually, you will die, or end up in an
institution for the rest of your life. The only hope is to stop drinking.
- Has your drinking caused trouble at home?
Before we came into A.A., most of us said that it was the people or problems at home
that made us drink. We could not see that our drinking just made everything worse. It
never solved problems anywhere or anytime.
- Do you ever try to get “extra” drinks at a party because you do not get
Most of us used to have a “few” before we started out if we thought it was going to
be that kind of party. And if drinks were not served fast enough, we would go some
place else to get more.
- Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking any time you want to, even though you keep getting drunk when you don’t mean to?
Many of us kidded ourselves into thinking that we drank because we wanted to. After
we came into A.A., we found out that once we started to drink, we couldn’t stop.
- Have you missed days of work or school because of drinking?
Many of us admit now that we “called in sick” lots of times when the truth was that we were hung-over or on a drunk.
- Do you have “blackouts”?
A “blackout” is when we have been drinking hours or days which we cannot remember. When we came to A.A., we found out that this is a pretty sure sign of alcoholic drinking.
- Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink?
Many of us started to drink because drinking made life seem better, at least for a while. By the time we got into A.A., we felt trapped. We were drinking to live and living to drink. We were sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Did you answer YES four or more times?
If so, you are probably in trouble with alcohol. Why do we say this? Because thousands of people in A.A. have said so for many years. They found out the truth about themselves — the hard way. But again, only you can decide whether
you think A.A. is for you. Try to keep an open mind on the subject. If the answer is YES, we will be glad to show you how we stopped drinking ourselves. Just call.A.A. does not promise to solve your life’s problems. But we can show
you how we are learning to live without drinking “one day at a time.” We stay away from that “first drink.” If there is no first one, there cannot be a tenth one. And when we got rid of alcohol, we found that life became much more