Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Fellowship

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Last Edited: November 16, 2020

Claudia Rose

Clinically Reviewed

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and certified by an addiction professional.

What is Alcoholics Anonymous?

The principles and traditions of the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) organization became the foundation for the 12 Step based approach to recovery and has influenced fellowships, like HA , NA, and CA, around the world to provide help for those struggling with addiction.

Established in the 1940’s, this method of sustaining sobriety has not only helped millions of people worldwide but encouraged others to spread the word of recovery. This fellowship has been a beacon of hope for others who are suffering and for the families struggling to understand.

It has been a long road to recovery, but those who have benefited from the AA organization go on to live a life that is fulfilling surrounded by a sober community that cares. A membership free from fees with not hidden agenda or corporate funding. Hosted by recovering addicts and sponsored by recovering addicts.

Alcoholism is a disease, a progressive illness, which can never be cured but which, like some other diseases, can be arrested. Many AA members feel that the illness represents the combination of a physical sensitivity to alcohol and a mental obsession with drinking, which, regardless of consequences, cannot be broken by willpower alone.

AA is entirely anonymous with the intentions of keeping your identity and experiences private.

Not necessarily, but — as one member has suggested — “Most of us want to, and some of us may need to.” Most alcoholics don’t like to be told that they have to do anything for any extended period of time. Those who attend meetings enjoy them and keep coming back to help them stay on the right path.

AA Fellowship Traditions and Values

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with one another to solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The 12 Steps and AA traditions were developed by the founders of the AA organization with the goal of achieving a sober lifestyle free from substance abuse.

In AA, sobriety is sustained by applying the 12-Step philosophy to the client’s lifestyle and by sharing their experiences, struggles, and opinions with others who have experience similar hardships. Through abstinence from drug or alcohol abuse and a strong support system, those who were suffering from addiction were able to get clean and remain sober.

This built a community of support that establishes a connection free of prejudice and judgment. Many clients who are involved in this method of treatment will find another member who will aid as a sponsor. The sponsor acts as a guide in their sobriety and helps in times of crisis when temptations or triggers become overwhelming.

Key concepts of the AA organization are as follows:

  • Maintain sobriety from alcohol by applying the 12-Step program to lifestyle.
  • Attend AA meetings regularly and consider a sponsor to guide new lifestyle.
  • Share experiences and struggles with people who have similar problems.
  • Identity can be Anonymous and meetings require an environment that is free from prejudice.
  • Surrender to a higher power and work the 12 steps with sponsor.

AA’s Brief History in Time

In the late 1940’s Bill W. and Dr. Bob collaborated with other recovering addiction on the most single influential piece of literature in addiction recovery known to man. The founders of the AA organization drafted the first copy of the Big Book after having years of sobriety under their belt. This Big Book later became the bible for recovering alcoholics as it shared stories of addiction and recovery, 12 Steps to a success recovery from alcohol addiction, and the traditions the organization would uphold.

The principles and traditions of the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) organization became the foundation for the 12 Step based approach to recovery and has influenced fellowships, like HA , NA, and CA, around the world to provide help for those struggling with addiction. The Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) organization is an international organization of over 73,000 groups worldwide with an estimate membership in Canada and the United States of 800,000 people.

AA practices complete abstinence from drugs and alcohol and by meeting on a regular basis and establishing a strong support system with sponsorships, AA is able to help one another stay sober.

The only requirement for an AA membership is the candid desire to stop using alcohol. Alcoholics Anonymous focuses on nonendorsement and does not express opinions— either pro or con—on civil, medical, legal, social, or religious issues. Furthermore, the fellowship does not take a stand on addiction-related issues such as criminality, drug legalization or penalties, prostitution, law enforcement, HIV/HCV infection, or syringe programs.

Disclaimer: is in no way affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous nor do we receive funding from the organization for endorsing their fellowship. Our goal is to educate those in need about aftercare programs that help maintain sobriety and help those struggling with addiction find a meeting. Please attend an AA meeting for literature or visit their website for more information.