SoberRecovery Glossary of Recovery Terms
Alcoholics Anonymous (see also 12 Step Groups)
Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as AA or A.A., is the original
12 Step group. It consists of men and women who come together
voluntarily to achieve and maintain sobriety. The goal is total
abstinence from alcohol, one day at a time. The method consists
of meetings and working the 12 Steps. The 12 Steps are found in
the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as the Big Book.
Meetings or groups are found in almost every country of the world.
They range in size from a few people, to as many as 100 or more.
Most groups meet once a week. Meeting styles include: speaker
meetings where one or two members share the story of their alcoholism
and recovery from a podium; discussion meetings where members
share their experience with a particular topic, and step studies
where members discuss their experience working with the 12 Steps.
There are also Big Book studies and meetings for special interest
groups like women only, men only, gay and lesbian only, etc. All
meetings are based, one-way or another, on the sharing of members
experience, strength and hope.
Membership in AA is informal. A person becomes a member when
they decide they want to stop drinking and begin attending meetings.
There is no registration; no attendance is taken, although the
group’s secretary may note the number of people in the room.
The commitment to anonymity is taken seriously and people can
attend AA meetings with little fear that others, outside the meetings,
will find out they have joined.
AA meetings can be found in various ways. There are meeting lists
on the web. In the United States, Alcoholics Anonymous can be
found in the white pages of most telephone books; a call to information
will also usually result in a phone number where meetings can
be located. Meetings in most western countries, and some non-western
countries can be found in similar ways.
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