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So you've been asked to go to AA...
You’re not alone. You’re not the first.
What can I expect at AA?
If a judge, school or employer has suggested you attend a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, they may believe there is evidence that you have a drinking problem. If you have an attendance card to be signed, most AA meeting secretaries will be happy to do so. Take a look at a current meeting directory. You'll see the days, times, and places AA meetings are held. Meetings marked with an (O) are Open Meetings — anyone can attend, while those marked with a (C) are Closed Meetings - for people who have a desire to stop drinking.
Do I have to give my name?
All participation at AA is voluntary. Some groups will ask "Are there are any newcomers — if so, please introduce yourself "by your first name only." You don’t have to introduce yourself as a newcomer; if you do, you don't have to give your full name. At some meetings a sign-in sheet may be circulated for the chairperson to use during the meeting — you don't have to sign it.
Will I have to speak?
It's not necessary to explain why you're there. Others will share but no one will think it odd if you choose to remain silent. There are many AA members who prefer to sit and listen at meetings.
Will AA respect my anonymity?
Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all of AA's Traditions. Please respect this custom and treat in confidence who you see and what you hear. You can count on others to respect your anonymity.
What about religion?
Most AA members have a program based upon a personal belief in a Higher Power; there is no religious affiliation. What you believe is up to you. Many meetings open and close with a short prayer; participation is optional.
Are there dues or fees?
The AA groups pay for certain services beyond rent, coffee/tea and literature. If help (which had been so freely given to us) is to be available to every alcoholic on the day he or she asks for help, we must support the national and local General Service structures and Intergroup. Traditionally, AA groups are self-supporting. If you accept this principle, you may show your gratitude when the basket comes your way.
Only you can decide... whether you're an alcoholic. Others may point out indications of a problem such as losing control, DUI arrests, lost jobs, broken marriages and relationships, memory blackouts, the shakes, etc. But only you can tell if you are actually an alcoholic.
At AA meetings you'll find people of all backgrounds. They all have one thing in common: they are trying to live sober, one day at a time. Meetings usually last an hour to an hour-and a-half.
What A.A. does not do:
What A.A. does do:
This site is not endorsed by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. It is provided in an effort to reach out to the alcoholic who still suffers.