This information is intended for those who first contact AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). This page provides answers to the most frequent questions asked by new members of the AA.
Am I an alcoholic?
If you constantly drink more than you intended, if you start drinking, you can’t stop, if you are in trouble or memory failures occur, then it is likely that you have become an alcoholic. Only you can determine this. A.A. no one will do this for you.
What should I do if I am concerned about my tendency to drink alcohol?
Get help from A.A. This may help you.
What is A.A.?
A.A. consists of men and women who have lost the ability to re-strain their cravings for alcohol and who have a variety of problems as a result of drinking. We strive to live a full life in which there is no place for alcohol, and most of us succeed. However, we are convinced that this requires the help and support of other alcoholics – members of A.A.
If I come to the AA meeting, does this impose any obligations on me?
It does not impose any obligations on you. We do not have a list of members; we do not keep track of attendance. You are not required to introduce yourself or tell about yourself. If you decide not to attend meetings anymore, nobody will agitate or annoy you.
What if I meet my friends at A.A.?
If they are there, then for the same reason that you and they will not tell anyone that they met you. By becoming a member of A.A., you can remain anonymous. This is one of the reasons why we are called Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.).
What happens at AA meetings?
At the meetings of A.A. – diverse in form – the alcoholics tell us what their alcoholism brought to, what they did to get rid of this ailment, and how they live now.
How can this help me stop drinking?
A.A. members are not therapists or experts in narcology. But we all know what it means to become addicted to alcohol, to promise ourselves and others to stop drinking and to be unable to fulfill this promise. The only way we can help others recover from alcoholism is our own example. And people suffering from alcoholism coming to us see that some people have already stopped drinking and understand from their example that it is possible to recover from alcoholism.
Why do those who have already been cured of alcoholism come to meetings?
We believe that it is impossible to fully recover from alcoholism. We will never be able to just drink “for the company” or “on occasion”. And how we can refrain from drinking alcohol depends on how healthy we are physically and mentally. To lead a healthy lifestyle, we regularly go to meetings, acquire new knowledge there and use it. In addition, we have seen from our own experience that the more we help other alcoholics, the less we seduced by alcohol.
How can I join A. A.?
Formalization of A.A. membership doesn’t exist. The only thing that is required of you is to decide to stop drinking.
What is the membership fee in A.A.?
There is no membership fee. Donations are usually collected at meetings, and each gives as much as he or she can. The funds raised go to rent premises, literature, tea, etc.
Is A.A. a religious organization?
A.A. is not a religious organization and is not associated with any religious denomination.
Is it true that people talk a lot about God at the A.A. meetings?
Most members of A.A. believe that they were able to end alcohol-ism thanks to some power, not just their willpower. However, everyone understands this power as something else. Some people think it is God, others – the help of group meetings, someone else doesn’t believe anything like that at all. It is a purely personal matter.
Can I come to a meeting with my family?
Both family members and close friends can attend public meetings. For more information, please contact your local A.A.
What would you advise the new members of A.A.?
We were convinced that A.A. mostly helps those who:
- do not drink at all;
- regularly attend A.A. meetings;
- take an experience from those A.A. members who have not been drinking for some time;
- follow the principles set out in the A.A. Program for treatment for alcoholism.
Remember that alcoholism is a progressive disease. Take it seriously even if you think you the initial stage of alcoholism. This disease kills, and if you are an alcoholic and continue to drink, it will surely get worse.