Alcoholics Anonymous is a worldwide Fellowship of men and women who help each other maintain sobriety and who offer to share their recovery experience freely with others who may have a drinking problem. The programme of AA suggests “Twelve Steps” designed for personal recovery from alcoholism.
The Fellowship today is in more than 180 countries. Approximately two million alcoholics have achieved sobriety in AA, but members recognise that their programme is not always effective with all alcoholics and that some may require professional counselling or treatment.
AA is concerned solely with the personal recovery and continued sobriety of individual alcoholics who turn to the Fellowship for help. The movement does not engage in alcoholism research or medical or psychiatric treatment, and does not endorse any causes – although AA members may participate as individuals.
The movement has adopted a policy of “co-operation but not affiliation” with other organisations concerned with the problem of alcoholism.
Alcoholics Anonymous is self supporting through its own groups and members and declines contributions from outside sources. AA members preserve personal anonymity at the level of press, films, and broadcast media.
From the beginning, many AA members have come to believe that alcoholism is a progressive illness – spiritual and emotional (or mental), as well as physical. The alcoholics we know seem to have lost the power to control their drinking.