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AA Meetings

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A.A. — Alcoholics Anonymous is a worldwide fellowship of men and women who help each other to stay sober. They offer the same help to anyone 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.

What are the AA Meetings about?

The A.A. people in each group get together, usually once or twice a week, to hold A.A. MEETINGS, of two main types:

(1) At " OPEN AA MEETINGS ": speakers tell how they drank, how they discovered A.A., and how its program has helped them.

Members may bring relatives or friends, and usually anyone interested in A.A. is also welcome to attend " OPEN AA MEETINGS. "

(2) " CLOSED AA MEETINGS " are for alcoholics only. These are group discussions, and any members who want to may speak up, to ask questions and to share their thoughts with fellow members

At " CLOSED AA MEETINGS, " A.A.s can get help with personal problems in staying sober and in everyday living.

Some other A.A.s can explain how they have already handled the same problems — often by using one or more of the Twelve Steps.

Like other illnesses, alcoholism strikes all sorts of people. So the men and women in A.A. are of all races and nationalities, all religions and no religion at all. They are rich and poor and just average. They work at all occupations, as lawyers and housewives, teachers and truck drivers, waitresses and members of the clergy.

Note: At the bottom of this page you can read more on What AA is about.

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What is AA?

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.

· The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions.
· A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes.
· Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

We have learned a great deal about how to identify and arrest alcoholism. But so far no one has discovered a way to prevent it, because nobody knows exactly why some drinkers turn into alcoholics.

For that reason, A.A. concentrates on helping those who are already alcoholics, so that they can stop drinking and learn how to live a normal, happy life without alcohol.

A.A. believes. If they do not stop drinking, their alcoholism almost always gets worse and worse. Both the American Medical Association and the British Medical Association, chief organizations of doctors in those countries, also have said that alcoholism is an illness.

Not all alcoholics have the same symptoms, but many — at different stages in the illness — show these signs: They find that only alcohol can make them feel self-confident and at ease with other people; often want “just one more” at the end of a party; look forward to drinking occasions and think about them a lot; get drunk when they had not planned to; try to control their drinking by changing types of liquor, going on the wagon, or taking pledges; sneak drinks; lie about their drinking; hide bottles; drink at work (or in school); drink alone; have blackouts (that is, can-not remember the next day what they said or did the night before); drink in the morning, to relieve severe hangovers, guilty feelings and fears; fail to eat and become malnourished; get cirrhosis of the liver; shake violently, hallucinate, or have convulsions when withdrawn from liquor.

Source: Excerpts from — Copyright © by A.A. Grapevine, Inc.; reprinted with permission Copyright © 1972 Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. 475 Riverside Drive New York, NY 10115 Mail address: Box 459 Grand Central Station New York, NY 10163 www.aa.org


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