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Alcoholism Recovery Program

What Does an Intergroup (Central Office) Do?

Alcoholics Anonymous Primary Purpose is to help the still suffering alcoholic.
The AA program of recovery is a way to live free from alcohol.

A central or intergroup office is an AA service office that involves partnership among groups in a community — just as AA groups themselves are partnerships of individuals. A central/intergroup office is established to carry out certain functions common to all the groups — functions which are best handled by a centralized office — and it is usually maintained, supervised, and supported by these groups in their general interest. It exists to aid the groups in their common purpose of carrying the AA message to the alcoholic who still suffers.                                                                                            – Alcoholics Anonymous, Central or Intergroup Offices, publication MG-02

Common services.


  1. Respond to phone or walk-in requests for help from alcoholics and, when appropriate, arrange for AA volunteers (listed with the office) to meet with and accompany them to an AA meet­ing.   
  2. Maintain AA listings in local phone directories, handle phone and mail inquiries, and route them to local groups, thus distributing Twelfth-Step work on a geographical basis so that newcomers are assured of help.   
  3. Distribute up-to-date meeting lists.   
  4. Stock and sell AA literature.   
  5. Serve as a communications center for participat­ing groups—often issuing regular newsletters or bulletins to keep groups informed about one another.   
  6. Arrange systems for groups to exchange speak­ers.   
  7. Coordinate the efforts of intergroup committees.   
  8. Sometimes provide information on treatment facilities, hospitals and halfway houses.   
  9. Through P.I. and C.P.C. committees, handle requests for information about AA from local news media, arrange local radio or TV programs about AA, and furnish speakers for schools and non-AA organizations.   
  10. Cooperate with local, district and area commit­tees. (Some intergroups elect members to serve as area liaisons and welcome their participation in intergroup meetings.)   

Maintain communication and cooperation— but not affiliation—with the community and helping-professionals in the field of alcoholism.

What A.A. Does Not Do

Tradition Ten: Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

  1. Recruit members or furnish initial motivation for alcoholics to recover.   
  2. Keep membership records or case histories.   
  3. Follow up or try to control its members.   
  4. Make medical or psychological diagnoses or prognoses.   
  5. Provide hospitalization, drugs, or medical or psy­chiatric treatment.   
  6. Provide housing, food, clothing, jobs, money or other such services.   
  7. Provide domestic or vocational counseling.   
  8. Engage in or sponsor research.   
  9. Affiliate with social agencies (though many members and service offices do cooperate with them).   
  10. Offer religious services.   
  11. Engage in any controversy about alcohol or other matters.   
  12. Accept money for its services or contributions from non-AA sources.   
  13. Provide letters of reference to parole boards, attorneys, court officials, schools, businesses, social agencies, or any other organization or institution.

A.A. and Alcoholism

Tradition Six: An AA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

Cooperation but not Affiliation

Alcoholics Anonymous is a worldwide fellowship of alcoholics who help each other to stay sober and who offer to share their recovery experience freely with others who may have a drinking problem. AA members are distinctive in their acceptance of a program of Twelve Steps designed for personal recovery from alcoholism.

The Fellowship functions through more than 63,000 registered local groups in the U.S. and Canada and there is AA activity in more than 180 countries. 

AA is concerned solely with the personal recov­ery and continuing sobriety of individual alcoholics who turn to the Fellowship for help. AA does not engage in the field of alcoholism research, medical or psychiatric treatment, education, or propaganda in any form, although members may participate in such activities as individuals.

AA has adopted a policy of cooperation but not affiliation with other organizations concerned with the treatment of alcoholism.

Traditionally, Alcoholics Anonymous does not accept nor seek financial support from outside sources, and members preserve personal anonymity at the level of press, television, radio, the Internet and films.

AA and Other Organizations

AA is not affiliated with any other organization or institution. Our Traditions encourage cooperation but not affiliation.

More Questions and Answers About A.A.

Recovery, Unity, and Service. These are derived from the accumulated experience of A.A.’s earliest members that has been passed on and shared with us: the suggestions for Recovery are the Twelve Steps; the suggestions for achieving Unity are the Twelve Traditions; and A.A. Service is described in The A.A. Service Manual/Twelve Concepts for World Service, and Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age.

In this foreword to The A.A. Service Manual, Bill W. describes the beginnings of group and general services, the origin of the Traditions, and the birth of the Conference.

General Service Conference-approved. P-44 Pamphlet

This informational guide tells how a group works most effectively, how a new group can be started, and how each group can be linked to A.A. as a whole.
Pamphlet P-16

Two titles in a single booklet. The A.A. Service Manual opens with history of A.A. services, then explains the General Service Conference structure and its year-round importance. Chapters cover the roles of GSRs, DCMs, delegates, directors and trustees, as well as what happens at GSO and Grapevine.

AA Service Manual

“In AA, we discover that it is impossible to give without receiving, or receive without giving.”

The First Helpline in the East Bay;
“In October 1941,

Pauline G., nonalcoholic wife of AA member Ralph G. became the AA “Oakland Group ” Corresponding Secretary, she installed a telephone in her home, offering day and night service to AA members and the suffering Alcoholic”.

Service statement.
Responsibility of service activities is placed at the group’s level, and all service center activities are guided by the Twelve Traditions and the Groups’ will and conscience. Unity of purpose, thought, and deed is of primary importance in all East Bay Intergroup actions.
The continued advancement of the A.A. Program through the performance of service work is the ultimate objective of the East Bay Intergroup Service members.