Is There an Alcoholic in Your Life?
Al-Anon Family Groups offer understanding, help and support to the families of problem drinkers. We are a fellowship of relatives and friends who share our experience, strength and hope in order to solve common problems. We believe that alcoholism is a family illness and that changed attitudes can aid recovery.
Al-Anon is not allied with any sect, denomination, political entity, organization or institution; does not engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any cause. There are no dues for membership. Al-Anon is self-supporting through its own voluntary contributions, plus the sale of our Conference-approved literature.
Meetings are free, anonymous and confidential. Our primary purpose is to help families of problem drinkers. Contact www.alanon.org.za or 0861 252 666
A.A. has a long history of cooperating but not affiliating with outside organizations and being available to provide A.A. meetings or information about A.A. upon request. A.A. communicates with professionals such as: doctors or other health care professionals, members of the clergy, law enforcement or court officials, educators, social workers, alcoholism counselors, therapists, or others who deal with problem drinkers in the course of their work.
Cooperation with the professional community is an objective of A.A., and has been since our beginnings. We are always seeking to strengthen and expand our communication with you, and we welcome your comments and suggestions. They help us to work more effectively with you in achieving our common purpose: to help the alcoholic who still suffers.
What A.A. Does NOT Do
How the Program Works
A.A.’s primary purpose, as stated in our Preamble, is: “. . . to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.”
The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. Members share their experiences in recovery from alcoholism on a one-to-one basis, and introduce the newcomer to A.A.’s Twelve Steps of personal recovery and its Twelve Traditions that sustain the Fellowship itself.
Meetings. At the heart of the program are its meetings, which are conducted autonomously by A.A. groups in cities and towns throughout the world. Anyone may attend open meetings of A.A. These usually consist of talks by one or more speakers who share impressions of their past illness and their present recovery in A.A. Some open meetings — to which helping professionals, the media and others are invited — are held for the specific purpose of informing the nonalcoholic (and possibly alcoholic) public about A.A. Closed meetings are for alcoholics only.
Alcoholics recovering in A.A. generally attend several meetings each week.
Anonymity. Anonymity helps the Fellowship to govern itself by principles rather than personalities; by attraction rather than promotion. We openly share our program of recovery, but not the names of the individuals in it.
A Resource for the Helping Professional
Professionals who work with alcoholics share a common purpose with Alcoholics Anonymous: to help the alcoholic stop drinking and lead a healthy, productive life.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a nonprofit, self-supporting, entirely independent fellowship— “not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution.” Yet A.A. is in a position to serve as a resource to you through its policy of “cooperation but not affiliation” with the professional community.
We can serve as a source of personal experience with alcoholism as an ongoing support system for recovering alcoholics.
A.A. Members and Medications
AA Video for Human Resources Professionals
AA Video For Healthcare Professionals
Singleness of Purpose and Problems Other Than Alcohol
Referrals From Judicial, Health Care, or other Professionals
Today numerous A.A. members come to us from judicial, health care, or other professionals. Some arrive voluntarily, others do not.
A.A. does not discriminate against any prospective member. Who made the referral to A.A. is not what interests us — it is the problem drinker who elicits our concern.
Proof of attendance at meetings. Sometimes a referral source asks for proof of attendance at A.A. meetings.
Groups cooperate in different ways. There is no set procedure. The nature and extent of any group’s involvement in this process is entirely up to the individual group.
Some groups with the consent of the prospective member, have an A.A. member acknowledge attendance on a slip that has been furnished by the referral source. The referred person is responsible for returning the proof of attendance.
A.A. Members and Medications
A Note of Thanks – A Request for Continued Cooperation
From time to time we write our public media friends to thank them for helping us observe our long-standing tradition of anonymity for members of Alcoholics Anonymous.
First, let us express our deep gratitude to you. From the beginning of A.A. in 1935, its members have recognized that word-of-mouth is not sufficient by itself to carry the program’s message of hope and recovery to the many people still suffering from alcoholism. The public media has been a vital part of this effort, and today we estimate that there are more than 2 million successfully recovering members of Alcoholics Anonymous in more than 180 countries.
Second, we respectfully request that you continue to cooperate with us in maintaining the anonymity of A.A. members. The principle of anonymity is a basic tenet of our fellowship. Those who are reluctant to seek our help may overcome their fear if they are confident that their anonymity will be respected. In addition, and perhaps less understood, our tradition of anonymity acts as a restraint on A.A. members, reminding us that we are a program of principles, not personalities, and that no individual A.A. member may presume to act as a spokesman or leader of our fellowship. If an A.A member is identified in the media, we ask that you please use first names only (e.g., Bob S. or Alice F.) and that you not use photographs or electronic images in which members’ faces may be recognized.
Again, we thank you for your continued cooperation. Those who wish to know more about our fellowship are welcome to visit the “For the Media” section of AA.org. Our fellowship does not comment on matters of public controversy, but we are happy to provide information about A.A. to anyone who seeks it.
Public Information Committee
of Alcoholics Anonymous