What is Alcoholics Anonymous?

We are alcoholics who help each other get and stay sober. We remain anonymous so that newcomers are not afraid of disclosure.

AA is non-profit and 100% self-funded. We hold more than 1,900 meetings every week across Australia.

Are gay lesbian bisexual and transgender people welcome in AA?

Yes. AAs focus is on our drinking problem, so we GLBT alcoholics have always been welcome.

GLBTs have even started our own AA meetings so we feel safe to speak about our recovery, sexuality and gender. Please see the Meetings page.

Are there any membership requirements?

No. AA has no selection criteria, tests or checks of any sort.

You decide if you are a member of AA. However, its best if you have a desire to stop drinking.

What does it cost to join AA?

Nothing. Weve already paid the price through our drinking.

Is AA religious?

No, but our program of recovery from alcoholism has a spiritual component. However, AA equally welcomes atheists, agnostics and members of any religion.

What happens at an AA meeting?

AA meetings are open to alcoholics and anyone interested in solving a personal drinking problem.

We only use first names to keep it anonymous. If you happen to see someone you know, expect a warm welcome but please do not tell outsiders who you saw at AA.

The meetings more or less follow a set pattern. A chairperson describes the AA program briefly for the benefit of newcomers in the room and calls speakers who relate their personal drinking histories and may give their interpretation of recovery in AA. Speaking is encouraged but not compulsory.

The meetings last for up to 90 minutes. At the end there is usually a period for announcements while a treasurer passes a basket to cover the costs of holding the meeting. Only members donate, if they can afford it, and a gold coin or small note is usually enough. The meeting then adjourns, often followed by informal chatting.

Where do I start?

The way we began dealing with our drinking problem was to go along to an AA meeting. You can search for a convenient meeting on AA's Find A Meeting website. For a list of GLBT meetings, see the Meetings page.

If you are an alcoholic, your life can turn around just by joining us at an AA meeting.

What does AA not do?

AA does not:

  • Furnish initial motivation for alcoholics to recover
  • Make medical or psychological diagnoses or provide drying-out services
  • Keep attendance records or case histories
  • Accept any money for its services
  • Follow up or try to control its members
  • Engage in education or research about alcohol
  • Ally itself with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution
  • Offer housing, food, clothing, jobs, money or any other welfare or social services
  • Provide letters of reference to parole boards, lawyers, court officials, social agencies, employers, etc.