Alcoholism and drug addiction are often referred to as "substance abuse" or "chemical dependency." Alcoholics and nonalcoholic’s are, therefore, sometimes introduced to A.A. and encouraged to attend A.A. meetings. Anyone may attend open A.A. meetings. But only those with a drinking problem may attend closed meetings or become A.A. members. People with problems other than alcoholism are eligible for A.A. membership only if they have a drinking problem.

Read more: Medical Opinions

Alcoholics Anonymous is a voluntary, worldwide fellowship of men and women from all walks of life who meet together to attain and maintain sobriety. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership.
Current Membership
It is estimated that there are more than 114,000 groups and over 2,000,000 members in over 180 countries.

Read more: What is AA

Many health care professionals have found effective ways to refer people to A.A. One said:
"No one suffers more than the alcoholic. When you once touch the life of an alcoholic and help him or her to recover, when you observe this incredible change from a suffering, helpless, sick (and dying) person to one who is alive, vital, functioning, and happy, you will be part of a rich, rewarding, and profound experience. A.A. is the most effective means of helping an alcoholic to stop drinking."

Read more: What you can do to refer

If an individual repeatedly drinks more than they intend or want to, if they get into trouble, or if they have memory lapses when they drink, they may be an alcoholic. If they want to control their drinking but can't, then alcoholism is a definite possibility. But as far as AA is concerned, it is up to the individual to decide whether they're an alcoholic. You can suggest they approach A.A. by either contacting us on 0800 2296757 or by attending a meeting.

Read more: What is an alcoholic?

Help for Individuals

Help for Individuals

Are you worried you may have a problem with alcohol?
Take our simple quiz.

Help for Concerned Family

Are you concerned for a friend or family member? Where can you find help or support?

Information for Professionals

Are you an employer, referrer, or other professional with questions?
Find out how
we can help you.

Information for the Media

AA appreciates Media cooperation in protecting the anonymity of our members. Read our media policy.


A.A. Annual Convention

A.A. Members Website

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