Author: Alex Thompson

AA Meetings: What They Are, Types & Format, Schedule

what is an aa meeting

Many groups make it a practice to read aloud pertinent material from the Big Book or Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions at the beginning of the meeting. Meetings and each meeting takes on the feel of their local area. At most meetings you will hear members talk about what drinking did to them and to those around them. Most also share what actions they took to stop drinking and how they are living their lives today. An AA meeting refers to an Alcoholics Anonymous support group meeting. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people who have experienced problems with drinking.

AA speaker meetings are a great way to unwind after a hard day. You can leave the room with a sense that no matter how scary life seems, things will work out if you just keep trudging the road of happy destiny a day at a time. Sometimes a referral source asks for proof of attendance at A.A. The nature and extent of any group’s involvement in this process is entirely up to the individual group. Your primary care physician or mental health professional can help you find a local 12-step meeting.

what is an aa meeting

Online Alcoholics Anonymous meetings occur in private chat rooms and applications, relieving a person from the necessity to leave their home or even show their faces. No personal data must be disclosed to join. It’s enough to find online an AA meeting schedule and start engaging with other people. A speaker AA meeting features a person who has overcome alcohol addiction themselves or possesses other inspirational knowledge from personal experience.

While AA is faith-based, it is not about indoctrination or forcing people to find religion—it’s about supporting people as they work to change their relationship with alcohol. Fortunately, there are many different types of meetings for people from different backgrounds or with similar situations. The only way to know for sure whether A.A. There are no dues or fees, so it doesn’t cost anything to try it out. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings may be accessible, but do they work?

How To Join AA Meetings

Do they truly help attendees achieve and maintain sobriety? Others attend due to pressure from a loved one or because they are required by the court, such as after being arrested for drunk driving. Group consisted of only Bill, Dr. Bob, and a patient at an Akron hospital. In 1939, the program expanded, largely due to the publication of the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, which is known as the “Big Book.” The growth of people’s interest in A.A. Increased more after a 1941 article in the Saturday Evening Post about the group. As it is widely known, was founded in 1935 by Bill W.

  1. Some groups, with the consent of the prospective member, have an A.A.
  2. There are no limits or requirements to who can join except for a desire to defeat their addiction and lead a healthier lifestyle.
  3. AA meeting topics have a broad range and act to encourage the attendees to think about their issues in a new light.
  4. Closed meetings are only for those who identify as alcoholics.
  5. We do not impose our experience with problem drinking on others, but we do share it when we are asked to do so.
  6. If you cannot identify as alcoholic you may be asked to find a different meeting.

Learning more about what to expect in an AA meeting can help you feel more at ease and get more out of the experience. Meetings aren’t based on a specific religion, they do include spiritual aspects. For some, these aspects of the program can be a stumbling block.

At the same time, it is important to understand that members’ behavior outside the meetings is not always possible to control. Local AA meetings also present an additional hazard of being discovered by someone from a person’s social circle. The risks are usually negligible, and an individual should discuss any doubts they might have with the organization’s coordinator or the person’s counselor before discarding this option. AA meeting format differs from group to group, and it is important to choose the right approach for each individual. Alcoholics Anonymous gatherings share the same ideology and hold anonymity and respect in the highest regard. Information for people who may have a drinking problem.

An Overview of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.)

You may find yourself leaving the speaker meeting with the feeling that you just enjoyed a standup comedy act. Many people in recovery have a dark sense of humor and we mainly laugh at ourselves. After years and sometimes decades of drinking we’re easy targets to poke fun at.AA speakers tell their story and frequently the story is sad (but also funny). It’s easy to laugh when somebody at the podium cracks a joke about, for instance, going to jail and being the smelliest bum in the holding cell. You may be shocked to hear the whole room laughing about something most people wouldn’t find very funny.

Research suggests that attending meetings can lead to positive outcomes for many AA participants. Meetings welcome attendees from court programs and treatment facilities. The strength of our program lies in the voluntary nature of membership in A.A.; however many of us first attended meetings because we were pressured to by someone else. Educated us to the true nature of the illness. The chair usually opens the meeting with the A.A.

During this type of AA meeting, members are free to ask the coordinator of the group any questions. Sometimes, the participants write the questions on pieces of paper for the coordinator to address. If you repeatedly drink more than you intend or want to, you may be an alcoholic.

what is an aa meeting

This pamphlet answers many of the common questions people have about alcoholism and A.A. The book Alcoholics Anonymous describes the A.A. It also contains stories written by the co-founders and stories from a wide range of members who have found recovery in A.A. Many AA meetings last no longer than an hour. All AA meetings are over in an hour-and-a-half.

But we’ve survived, made our amends where possible, and we have a newfound freedom and joy in life. AA meetings are gatherings where recovery from alcoholism is discussed. One perspective sees them as “quasi-ritualized therapeutic sessions run by and for, alcoholics”.[59] There are a variety of meeting types some of which are listed below. At some point during the meeting a basket is passed around for voluntary donations. AA’s 7th tradition requires that groups be self-supporting, “declining outside contributions”.[14] Weekly meetings are listed in local AA directories in print, online and in apps.


It does not accept donations from people or organizations outside of AA. It is the problem drinker who is our concern. We cannot predict who will recover, nor have we the authority to decide how recovery should be sought by any other alcoholic.

Also useful for those in contact with such people. Members who determine the format of their meetings. AA meetings are usually listed as either being “open” or “closed.” Open meetings are available to anyone interested in AA.

The “Meeting after the Meeting”

The primary purpose of Alcoholics Anonymous is to help newcomers to recover. By helping others to recover we stay sober ourselves. AA meetings are incredibly effective in helping people reduce the consumption of alcohol and achieve complete abstinence. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reports that more than 2 million people from 150 countries are members of the Alcoholics Anonymous program. The same report indicates that participants display an 87.5% abstinence rate over a period of two years.