Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people who come together to solve their drinking problem. It doesn’t cost anything to attend A.A. meetings. There are no age or education requirements to participate. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about their drinking problem.
A.A.’s primary purpose is to help alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
Twelve questions only you can answer
Please answer YES or NO to the following questions.
Only you can decide whether you want to give A.A. a try — whether you think it can help you.
Below are some questions we tried to answer honestly. See how you do. There is no disgrace in facing up to the fact that you have a problem.
- Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days?
Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking– stop telling you what to do?
Have you ever switched from one kind of drink to another in the hope that this would keep you from getting drunk?
Have you had to have a drink upon awakening during the past year?
Do you envy people who can drink without getting into trouble?
Have you had problems connected with drinking during the past year?
Has your drinking caused trouble at home?
Do you ever try to get “extra” drinks at a party because you do not get enough?
Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking any time you want to, even though you keep getting drunk when you don’t mean to?
Have you missed days of work or school because of drinking?
Do you have “blackouts”?
Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink?
Did you answer YES four or more times?
If so, you are probably in trouble with alcohol. Why do we say this? Because thousands of people in A.A. have said so for many years. They found out the truth about themselves, the hard way.
But again, only you can decide whether you think A.A. is for you. Try to keep an open mind on the subject. If the answer is YES, we will be glad to show you how we stopped drinking ourselves. Just call.
A.A. does not promise to solve your life’s problems. But we can show you how we are learning to live without drinking “one day at a time.” We stay away from that “first drink.” If there is no first one, there cannot be a tenth one. And when we got rid of alcohol, we found that life became much more manageable.
Take the next step
You can call a local A.A. office to ask more questions or to talk to an A.A. member.
You can attend a meeting in person or online.
Two of A.A.’s traditions address anonymity. The Eleventh Tradition states that our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films. The Twelfth Tradition says that Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
Anonymity is often referred to as the greatest single protection the Fellowship has to assure its continued existence and growth. In stressing the equality of all A.A. members — and unity in the common bond of their recovery from alcoholism — anonymity serves as the spiritual foundation of A.A.
If we look at the history of A.A., from its beginning in 1935 until now, it is clear that anonymity serves two different yet equally vital functions:
Anonymity at the Personal level
- At the personal level, anonymity provides protection for all members from identification as alcoholics, a safeguard often of special importance to newcomers.
- As valuable as privacy is to new members, most of them are eager to share the good news of their A.A. affiliation with their families. Such a disclosure, however, is always their own choice.
Anonymity at the Public level
- At the level of press, radio, TV, films, and on the internet practicing anonymity stresses the equality of all A.A. members. Maintaining anonymity at this level puts the brakes on those who might otherwise exploit their A.A. affiliation to achieve recognition, power, or personal gain.
- When using social media and other online platforms, A.A. members are responsible for their own anonymity and that of others. When we break our anonymity in online forums, we may inadvertently break the anonymity of others. Protecting anonymity is a major consideration for A.A. members who are moving online in ever-growing numbers.
Facts About Anonymity
It is the A.A. member’s responsibility, and not that of the media, to maintain our cherished Tradition of anonymity.
- A.A. members generally think it unwise to break the anonymity of the member even after the member’s death, but in each situation, the final decision must rest with the family. A.A. members, though, are in agreement that the anonymity of still living A.A. members should be respected in obituaries or in any type of printed remembrance or death notice.
- A.A. members may disclose their identity and speak as recovered alcoholics, giving radio, TV and online interviews, without violating the Traditions — so long as their A.A. membership is not revealed.
- A.A. members may speak publicly as A.A. members only if their full names or faces are not revealed. They speak as individual members, but not for A.A. as a whole.
The Twelve Steps are outlined in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. They can be found at the beginning of the chapter “How It Works.” Essays on the Steps can be read in the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- 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.
- 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.
The Twelve Traditions provide guidelines for relationships between the groups, members, the global Fellowship and society at large. Questions of finance, public relations, donations and purpose are addressed in the Traditions.
- Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.
- For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority — a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
- The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.
- Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.
- Each group has but one primary purpose — to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
- An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
- Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
- Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
- A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
- Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
- Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.
- Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
The Grapevine is AA’s Meeting in Print. Please click the link below and you will be taken to the Grapevine’s website in a new tab.
If you’re interested in ordering any AA Literature please click on the link below. You will be taken to the Halton Service Office website in a new tab.
The Literature Store is supported by volunteers of the Halton Service Office. Appointments are available but must be pre-arranged.
Please allow sufficient time to order and arrange pickup.
Pickups are by Appointment Only.
Our pickup location is at the HSO office (at the back of The Church of the Epiphany):
141 Bronte Rd. (just north of Lakeshore). Oakville.
*Hard cover, large print, soft cover, pocket size available. Prices fluctuate based on currency conversion and are offered “at cost” when items are added to inventory.
**It is recommended that medallions are ordered at least a week in advance.
The Grapevine Podcast.
A weekly happy half hour when AA members interview other members about their experience, strength and hope.