What is AA?
We in A.A. are men and women who have discovered, and admitted, that we cannot control alcohol. We have learned that we must live without it if we are to avoid disaster for ourselves and those close to use.
With local groups in thousands of communities, we are part of an informal international fellowship, which now has members in 150 different countries. We have but one primary purpose: to stay sober ourselves and to help others who may turn to us for help in achieving sobriety.
We are united by our common problem, alcohol. Meeting and talking and helping other alcoholics together, we are somehow able to stay sober and to lose the compulsion to drink, once a dominant force in our lives.
Reprinted from: ‘This is A.A.: An Introduction’, p.7, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a worldwide fellowship of men and women who help each other to stay sober. They offer the same help to someone who has a drinking problem and wants to do something about it. Since they are all alcoholics themselves, they have a special understanding of each other. They know what the illness feels like – and they have learned how to recover from it in A.A. how to recover from it in A.A.
A.A. members say that they are alcoholics – even when they have not had a drink for many years. They do not say they are “cured” Once people have lost the ability to control their drinking, they can never again be sure of drinking safely – or, in other words, they can never become “former alcoholics” or “ex-alcoholics” But in A.A., they can be sober alcoholics, recovered alcoholics.
Reprinted from: ‘A Brief Guide to Alcoholics Anonymous’, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Copyright © A.A. World Services, Inc. Reprinted with permission.
- Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.
- For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority — a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
- The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.
- Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.
- Each group has but one primary purpose — to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
- An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A.name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
- Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
- Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
- A.A. as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
- Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
- Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.
- Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
Copyright © A.A. World Services, Inc. Reprinted with permission