Truths, Misconceptions and General Info about Alcoholics Anonymous

Curious about Alcoholics Anonymous?

Sadly, based upon inaccurate information many people never attend their first A.A. meeting. Common misconceptions that keep people away from this worthwhile 12 Step Program are:

A.A. is only for weak people who can’t control their drinking.

in 1956 the American Medical Association declared that alcoholism was an illness. Since then, in 1991, the AMA further endorsed the dual classification of alcoholism by the International Classification of Diseases under both psychiatric and medical sections.

You have to have hit rock bottom for it to work so only people who have suffered serious consequences as the result of their drinking go to AA.

Everybody’s rock bottom looks different. A bottom for some may be a car wreck, an arrest or a job loss. Somebody else might experience a bottom due to feelings of isolation, depression, anxiety or worthlessness.

You have to be sober to go to meetings.

Alcoholics Anonymous Third Tradition states that, “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking”. In other words, you don’t have to quit drinking in order to attend meetings.

I won’t be able to relate to the people there.

Men and women from many backgrounds and possessed of many different circumstances attend meetings. In any group of people, there will be some that you can relate to better than others. Most meeting attendees do find common ground as they learn to stay sober.

It is a religious organization.

Although the text Alcoholics Anonymous suggests prayer and meditation are beneficial, A.A. has no religious affiliation and no requirements that you have one.

Drugs are part of my story. Is it ok for me to go to an A.A. meeting?

Yes, it is OK to go to an open A.A. meeting. You may also find it useful to attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings. A closed A.A. meeting is limited to those who have a problem with alcohol.

For more information about Alcoholics Anonymous and to find a local meeting go to