At the 1955 conference in St. Louis, Missouri, Wilson relinquished stewardship of AA to the General Service Conference, as AA grew to millions of members internationally. The absence of rules, regulations, or musts is one of the unique features of A.A. As a local group and as a worldwide fellowship.

what is aa?

It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, non-denominational, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. Closed discussion meetings — conducted just as open discussions are, but for alcoholics or prospective A.A.s only. Regardless of where you live, there is bound to be an AA group nearby. Most groups meet regularly, so you can go sooner rather than later. Decide whether you want to do a closed or open meeting and in what area, and you can find one online at Alcoholics Anonymous’ website.

Take control of your life

Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. According to AA traditions, the only qualification for membership is a desire to stop drinking. Anyone may attend open AA meetings.

what is aa?

Know what it is like to be addicted to alcohol, and to be unable to keep promises made to others and ourselves that we will stop drinking. We are not professional therapists. The Big Book is the basic text for Alcoholics Anonymous. Entitled “Alcoholics Anonymous,” it first appeared in 1939. Since then, it has helped millions of men and women recover from alcoholism. Fortunately, every AA participant knows exactly how you feel. The organization itself was founded by recovering alcoholics and that model has held true through today.


The answer to this question is that if a person is an alcoholic, touching alcohol in any form cannot be risked. Alcohol is alcohol whether it is found in a martini, a Scotch and soda, a bourbon and branch water, a glass of champagne — or a short beer. For the alcoholic, one drink of alcohol in any form is likely to be too much, and twenty drinks are not enough. Members believe that we have found the solution to our drinking problem not through individual willpower, but through a power greater than ourselves. However, everyone defines this power as he or she wishes. Many people call it God, others think it is the A.A. Group, still others don’t believe in it at all.

How do you know you need an AA?

Have you had problems connected with drinking during the past year? Has your drinking caused trouble at home? Do you ever try to get "extra" drinks at a party because you do not get enough? 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?

The 4th AA Step requires self-examination that can sometimes feel uncomfortable. Honesty about how a person’s struggle has affected themselves and others is necessary for helping maintain recovery. Learn more about Step 4 of Alcoholics Anonymous. Admitting one’s struggle with alcohol use is the first Step of AA and can be challenging, but once you do acknowledge your struggle, the recovery process can begin.

The Big Book, the Twelve Steps, and the Twelve Traditions

Nonalcoholic guests are welcome at “open” A.A. Attendance at “closed” meetings is limited to those who are alcoholic or think they may have a drinking problem. Members share their recovery experience with anyone seeking help with a drinking problem, and give person-to person services or “sponsorship” to the alcoholics coming to A.A. Program, as set forth in the Twelve Steps to recovery, offers the alcoholic an opportunity to develop a satisfying way of life free from alcohol.

Additionally, the AA General Service Office provides a pamphlet with guidelines for members working with incarcerated alcoholics. All 12th Step calls that come to the Central Office are handed to sober AA members who have volunteered to handle these calls. It also maintains service centers, which coordinate activities such as printing literature, responding to public inquiries, and organizing conferences. Other International General Service Offices (Australia, Costa Rica, Russia, etc.) are independent of AA World Services in New York. With AA’s permission, subsequent fellowships such as Narcotics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous have adopted and adapted the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions to their addiction recovery programs. AA has maintained neutrality towards the disease model of alcoholism though its program is sympathetic to it, but its wider acceptance has been partly due to many AA members independently promulgating it. Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

Is Alcoholics Anonymous Religious?

But they have seen the handwriting on the wall. They recognize that they are alcoholics, and they see no point in letting alcoholism run its inevitable disastrous course with them. Their need for recovery is just as compelling as that of the older men and women who had no opportunity to turn to A.A. Once they are in A.A., the young people and the oldsters are rarely conscious of their age differentials. In A.A., both groups start a new life from the same milestone — their last drink. Alcoholics Anonymous® is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. Believe there is no such thing as a cure for alcoholism.

They were completely unreliable in their relations and spiritual assets. Few alcoholics deliberately try to drink what is aa? themselves into trouble, but trouble seems to be the inevitable consequence of an alcoholic’s drinking.

Program, set forth in our Twelve Steps, offers the alcoholic a way to develop a satisfying life without alcohol. Call our offices for more information.

  • Most people can’t “just stop” even with the help of AA.
  • The alcoholic knows this as well as the next person.
  • Discuss this with your local contact.
  • The first step requires admitting you have a problem and need help overcoming it.
  • Membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions.
  • Anyone may attend open AA meetings.

When choosing a treatment center, we hope you choose us and recognize that the experience at Experience Recovery is one like no other. Under the direction of our Medical Director, Dr. Mario San Bartolome and our Clinical Director, Michael Mazzarino our program is scientifically based, medically driven, and therapeutically sound. When people participate in risky behavior or binge drinking episodes they may suffer from alcohol use disorder.