Preamble of Alcoholics Anonymous
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people 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.
A.A. Preamble Copyright (c) by The A.A. Grapevine, Inc. Reprinted with permission.
For Anyone New Coming to A.A. | For Anyone Referring People to A.A.
This information is both for people who may have a drinking problem and for those in contact with people who have, or are suspected of having, a problem. Most of the information is available in more detail in literature published by A.A. World Services, Inc. This sheet tells what to expect from Alcoholics Anonymous. It describes what A.A. is, what A.A. does, and what A.A. does not do.
What Is A.A.?
Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of people who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem.
Singleness of Purpose and Problems Other Than Alcohol
Some professionals refer to alcoholism and drug addiction as “substance abuse” or “chemical dependency.” Nonalcoholics are, therefore, sometimes introduced to A.A. and encouraged to attend A.A. meetings. Nonalcoholics may attend open A.A. meetings as observers, but only those with a drinking problem may attend closed A.A. meetings.
What Does A.A. Do?
- A.A. members share their experience with anyone seeking help with a drinking problem; they give person-to-person service or “sponsorship” to the alcoholic coming to A.A. from any source.
- The A.A. program, set forth in our Twelve Steps, offers the alcoholic a way to develop a satisfying life without alcohol.
- This program is discussed at A.A. group meetings.
What A.A. Does Not Do
A.A. does not:
- Furnish initial motivation for alcoholics to recover.
- Solicit members.
- Engage in or sponsor research.
- Keep attendance records or case histories.
- Join “councils” of social agencies (although A.A. members, groups and service offices frequently cooperate with them).
- Follow up or try to control its members.
- Make medical or psychological diagnoses or prognoses.
- Provide detox or nursing services, hospitalization, drugs, or any medical or psychiatric treatment.
- Offer religious services or host/sponsor retreats.
- Engage in education about alcohol.
- Provide housing, food, clothing, jobs, money, or any other welfare or social services.
- Provide domestic or vocational counseling.
- Accept any money for its services, or any contributions from non-A.A. sources.
- Provide letters of reference to parole boards, lawyers, court officials, social agencies, employers, etc.
The primary purpose of A.A. is to carry its message of recovery to the alcoholic seeking help. Almost every alcoholism treatment tries to help the alcoholic maintain sobriety. Regardless of the road we follow, we all head for the same destination, recovery of the alcoholic person. Together, we can do what none of us could accomplish alone. We can serve as a source of personal experience and be an ongoing support system for recovering alcoholics.
Adapted from the sheet F-2 – Information on Alcoholics Anonymous, available here.
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