For New Comers

This is A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature:

Am I an alcoholic?
If you repeatedly drink more than you intend or want to, if you get into trouble, or if you have memory
lapses when you drink, you may be an alcoholic. Only you can decide. No one in A.A. will tell you
whether you are or not.

What can I do if I am worried about my drinking?
Seek help. Alcoholics Anonymous can help.

What is Alcoholics Anonymous?
We are a Fellowship of men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking and have
found ourselves in various kinds of trouble as a result of drinking. We attempt—most of us
successfully—to create a satisfying way of life without alcohol. For this we find we need the help and
support of other alcoholics in A.A.

If I go to an A.A. meeting, does that commit me to anything?
No. A.A. does not keep membership files, or attendance records. You do not have to reveal anything
about yourself. No one will bother you if you don’t want to come back.

What happens if I meet people I know?
They will be there for the same reason you are there. They will not disclose your identity to outsiders. At
A.A. you retain as much anonymity as you wish. That is one of the reasons we call ourselves Alcoholics
Anonymous.

What happens at an A.A. meeting?
An A.A. meeting may take one of several forms, but at any meeting you will find alcoholics talking about
what drinking did to their lives and personalities, what actions they took to help themselves, and how
they are living their lives today.

How can this help me with my drinking problem?
We in A.A. 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. Our only
qualification for helping others to recover from alcoholism is that we have stopped drinking ourselves,
but problem drinkers coming to us know that recovery is possible because they see people who have
done it.

Why do A.A.s keep on going to meetings after they are cured?
We in A.A. believe there is no such thing as a cure for alcoholism. We can never return to normal
drinking, and our ability to stay away from alcohol depends on maintaining our physical, mental, and
spiritual health. This we can achieve by going to meetings regularly and putting into practice what we
learn there. In addition, we find it helps us to stay sober if we help other alcoholics.

How do I join A.A.?
You are an A.A. member if and when you say so. The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire
to stop drinking, and many of us were not very wholehearted about that when we first approached A.A.

How much does A.A. membership cost?
There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership. An A.A. group will usually have a collection during the
meeting to cover expenses, such as rent, coffee, etc., and to this all members are free to contribute as
much or as little as they wish.

Is A.A. a religious organization?
No. Nor is it allied with any religious organization.

There’s a lot of talk about God, though, isn’t there?
The majority of A.A. 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. There is room in A.A. for people of all shades of belief and non belief.

Can I bring my family to an A.A. meeting?
Family members or close friends are welcome at “Open” A.A. meetings. Discuss this with your local
contact.

What advice do you give new members?
In our experience, the people who recover in A.A. are those who: (a) stay away from the first drink; (b)
attend A.A. meetings regularly; (c) seek out the people in A.A. who have successfully stayed sober for
some time; (d) try to put into practice the A.A. program of recovery.

Remember...
Remember that alcoholism is a progressive disease. Take it seriously, even if you feel you are only in
the early stages of the illness. Alcoholism kills people. If you are an alcoholic, and if you continue to
drink, in time you will get worse.