Fast Facts About Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous are the basis of all modern 12 step programs. Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA, was founded by two men who struggled with alcoholism and they firmly believed that finding a higher power and helping other alcoholics would keep them sober.

Below are a few facts about Alcoholics Anonymous

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an international mutual aid fellowship with the stated purpose of enabling its members to “stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety.” AA was established in 1935 by recovered alcoholics, stockbroker William Wilson and proctologist Dr. Robert Smith.
  • AA is entirely supported and organized by its members. AA receives no outside funding from any source, public or private. It also is not affiliated with any religious or political groups.
  • AA states that “Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help others achieve sobriety.”
  • Anonymity is at the heart of AA – all members remain anonymous. The anonymity removes the social stigma of public recognition and thus provides its members with a more comfortable experience in recovery.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous is open to all persons regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or any other personal characteristic.
  • AA states “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.”
  • There are two types of AA meetings, open and closed. Closed meetings are for those who have a desire to stop drinking only, while open meetings may be attended by anyone, even someone who is uncertain as to whether they have a problem with drinking or not.
  • The Three Legacies of AA are: recovery, unity and service. The suggestions for recovery are the Twelve Steps; The suggestions for achieving unity are the Twelve Traditions; The suggestions for service are described in Twelve Concepts for World Service, The AA Service Manual and Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age.


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