If you seem to be
having an alcohol problem, or if your drinking has reached the point
where it worries you a bit, you may be interested to know something about
Alcoholics Anonymous and the AA program of recovery from alcoholism. After
reading this brief outline, you may decide that AA has nothing to offer
you. Should this be the case, we suggest only that you keep an open mind on
the subject. Consider your drinking carefully in the light of what you learn
from this website. Determine for yourself, whether or not alcohol has
truly become a problem for you. And remember that you will always be most
welcome to join the thousands of men and women in AA who have put their
drinking problems behind them and now lead "normal" lives of constructive,
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
The first thing we
have learned about alcoholism is that it is one of the oldest problems in
man's history. Only recently have we begun to benefit from new approaches to
the problem. Doctors today, for example, know a great deal more about
alcoholism than their predecessors did only two generations ago. They are
beginning to define the problem and study it in detail.
While there is no formal "AA definition" of alcoholism, most of us agree
that, for most of us, it could be described as a physical compulsion,
coupled with a mental obsession. We mean that we had a distinct physical
desire to consume alcohol beyond our capacity to control it, and in defiance
of all rules of common sense. We not only had an abnormal craving for
alcohol but we frequently yielded to it at the worst possible times. We did
not know when (or how) to stop drinking. Often we did not seem to have sense
enough to know when not to begin.
As alcoholics, we have learned the hard way that willpower alone , however
strong in other respects, was not enough to keep us sober. We have tried
going on the wagon for specific periods. We have taken solemn pledges. We
have switched brands and beverages. We have tried drinking only certain
hours. But none of our plans worked. We always wound up, sooner or later, by
getting drunk when we not only wanted to stay sober but had every rational
incentive to do so.
We have gone through stages of dark despair when we were sure that something
was wrong with us mentally. We came to hate ourselves for wasting the
talents with which we were endowed and for the trouble we were causing our
families and others. Frequently, we indulged in self-pity and proclaimed
that nothing could ever help us. We can smile at those recollections now but
at the time they were grim, unpleasant experiences.
Today we are willing to accept the idea that, as far as we are concerned,
alcoholism is an illness, a progressive illness that can never be "cured"
but which. like some other illnesses can be arrested. WE agree that
there is nothing shameful about having an illness, provided we face the
problem honestly and try to do something about it. We are perfectly willing
to admit that we are allergic to alcohol and that it is simply commonsense
to stay away from the source of the allergy.
We understand now that once a person has crossed the invisible line from
heavy drinking to compulsive alcoholic drinking, he will always remain
alcoholic. So far as we know, there can never be any turning back to
"normal" social drinking. "Once an alcoholic - always an alcoholic" is a
simple fact we have to live with.
We have also learned that there are few alternatives for the alcoholic. If
he continues to drink, his alcohol problems will become progressively worse; he seems
assuredly on the path to the gutter, to hospitals, to jails or other
institutions, or to an early grave. The only alternative is to stop drinking
completely, to abstain from even the smallest quantity of alcohol in any
form. If he is willing to follow this course, and to take advantage of the
help available to him, a whole new life can open up for the alcoholic.
is the site to visit.