What Is Alcoholics Anonymous?

Introduction to AA

AA is fellowship helping men and women to share their trust, experience and hope. This helps them to solve their common problem, which is alcoholism. AA is a unique fellowship founded in 1935. AA is not aligned with any group, division, political party, association or foundation. It seeks to avoid controversy and affiliation in order to focus on the task at hand. That is to guide addicts on the road to recovery. Furthermore it neither supports nor restricts any causes. Their only goal is to remain sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety.

Alcoholics Anonymous is not a religious association nor is it associated with any religious body. It invites individuals from all religions. There is no discrimination. You don’t need to join or become a member of anything to be a part. Anyone who wishes to be part of this community can be with no restrictions. There is no group leader either. AA is a positive community of alcoholics helping other alcoholics recover from alcoholism.

Requirement for participation
The only requirement for participation in this fellowship is the urge to quit drinking. There are no charges or fees for Alcoholics Anonymous. They are self-supporting through their own commitments.

Community of AA
According to an estimate approximately two million alcoholic people have recovered with the help of AA. AA is an informal society which includes people from all over the world. For instance, Australia has a community of over 18000 people attending AA. These members meet in nineteen hundred meetings held throughout the country. The number of meetings held in any given area depends on the number of members in that area.

How do Alcoholic People recover?
The members of this community recover with the support of the other members. There are no doctors, psychologists, counselors and clinics. There is no central power instructing members on how Alcoholics Anonymous groups should work. It is up to the individuals of every group to choose what they want to do. But this program has turned out to be so successful that every group basically follows the same steps.

Twelve steps proposed by earliest members:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

AA works with the help of members recounting their stories of what they used to be, what changed them and what they are now. The Alcoholics Anonymous program, known as The Twelve Step program, gives a system to self-examine yourself and show you the road to recovery. All this in order to live an alcohol free life.