This Page is Intended for those Thinking or Attending
Alcoholics Anonymous for the First Time.
We have Tried to Answer the Questions Most Frequently
(FAQ) in the Minds of Newcomers
The 'Same Questions' that were in Our Minds
When We First Came to the Fellowship
Am I an alcoholic ?
Only you can decide. No one in A.A. will tell you whether your are or not.
What can I do it I am worried about my drinking ?
Seek help ...... Alcoholics Anonymous can help.
What is Alcoholics Anonymous ?
We are a Fellowships of men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking & 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 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 member will bother you if you don't want to come back.
What happens if I meet people I know there ?
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 your 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; some there may be a speaker and others a group discussion, 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 problems drinkers coming to us know that recovery is possible because they see people who have done it.
Why do members keep going to meetings after they have been cured ?
We in A.A. believe there is not 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. We are of a Spiritual Nature.
Is there a lot of talk about God at meetings ?
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 members 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 & close friends are welcome at 'Open Meetings', check the meeting list. Discuss this with your local contact person.
What advise 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 meetings regularly
(c) seek out the members in A.A. who have successfully stayed sober for some time
(d) try to put into practice the A.A. program of recovery
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. You however, might want to take the 20 Question Quiz
You may ask yourself, how can Alcoholics Anonymous help me ?
I suggest that you listen to a speaker at a meeting. After many years of being sober, I found a couple of moving stories on-line that I recommend highly for you to hear.
Taken from Our Basic Text Book pages 152 & 153
We have shown how we got out from under. (Controlled by Alcohol) You say, "Yes, I'm willing. But am I to be consigned to a life where I shall be stupid, boring and glum, like some righteous people I see? I know I must get along without liquor, but how can I? Have you a sufficient substitute?"
Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. There you will find release from care, boredom and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead. Thus we find the fellowship, and so will you.
"How is that to come about?" you ask. "Where am I to find these people?"
You are going to meet these new friends in your own community. Near you, alcoholics are dying helplessly like people in a sinking ship. If you live in a large place, there are hundreds. High and low, rich and poor, these are future fellows of Alcoholics Anonymous. Among them you will make lifelong friends. You will be bound to them with new and wonderful ties, for you will escape disaster together and you will commence shoulder to shoulder your common journey. Then you will know what it means to give of yourself that others may survive and rediscover life. You will learn the full meaning of "Love thy neighbor as thyself."
It may seem incredible that these men are to become happy, respected, and useful once more. How can they rise out of such misery, bad repute and hopelessness? The practical answer is that since these things have happened among us, they can happen with you. Should you wish them above all else, and be willing to make use of our experience, we are sure they will come. The age of miracles is still with us. Our own recovery proves that!
Our hope is that when this chip of a book is launched on the world tide of alcoholism, defeated drinkers will seize upon it, to follow its suggestions. Many, we are sure, will rise to their feet and march on. They will approach still other sick ones and fellowships of Alcoholics
Anonymous may spring up in each city and hamlet, havens for those who must find a way out.
Local Meetings in the London area are found on this page of our website
If you would like someone who has been a sober member e-mail you to answer any questions you have, please go to this page and fill out a request and one of our longer term members will contact you.
If you would like more information about the AA Program you can view one of our pamphlets by clicking here.
How can I contact Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) by telephone or Email ?
Outside of the areas below, please look for Alcoholics Anonymous in your local telephone directory.
Telephone Phone lines are answered by Answering Services who will pass on your First Name Only and Telephone Number to AA member Volunteers who will be happy to answer your questions by telephone or e-mail.
How Your Life Could Change
If you would like to read what some of our members have written about how Alcoholics Anonymous has changed their lives – Click Here
Hope to see you at one of our meetings !