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Alcoholism Recovery Program

What is A.A.? (From Can't Stop Drinking?" page)

What A.A. does do

  • AA members share their experience, strength, and hope with anyone seeking help with a drinking problem; they give person-to-person assistance and/or sponsorship to the alcoholic regardless of how they get to AA.
  • AA offers a variety of meetings, including meetings for people of color, women, LGBTQ and gender non-conforming folx, beginners, young people, atheists, and agnostics, many all-inclusive meetings for anyone with a desire to stop drinking, and new meetings are being added every day.
  • The AA program, set forth in our Twelve Steps, offers the alcoholic a way to develop a satisfying life without alcohol.
  • This program is discussed at AA group meetings.

What A.A. does not do

  • Solicit members
  • Engage in or sponsor research
  • Keep attendance records or case histories
  • Join “councils” of social agencies
  • Follow up or try to control its members
  • Make medical or psychological diagnoses or prognoses
  • Provide drying-out or nursing services, hospitalization, drugs, or any medical or psychiatric treatment
  • Offer religious services or host retreats
  • Engage in education about alcohol
  • Provide housing, food, clothing, jobs, money, or any other welfare or social services
  • Provide domestic or vocational counseling
  • Accept any money for its services, or any contributions from non-AA sources
  • Provide letters of reference to parole boards, lawyers, court officials, social agencies, employers, etc.

A.A.'s Approach (from home page)

A.A.’s approach to the disease of alcoholism is holistic.
Simply put, A.A. is a program of recovery for body, mind, and spirit.

AA believes that alcoholism is a three part problem that requires a three part solution.

Alcoholics have a “physical allergy”, (an abnormal biochemical reaction to alcohol).  We do not process alcohol like non-alcoholics. Once we take the first drink, we develop a physical craving that makes it seemingly impossible for us to stop drinking.

Once we become alcoholic, we develop a “mental obsession” that can only be described as insanity concerning our alcohol use. Once we stop drinking we return to drinking, regardless of our desire to stay stopped.  “At a certain point in the drinking of every alcoholic, we pass into a state where the most powerful desire to stay stopped is of absolutely no avail.”

Over time, we develop what A.A. describes as a “spiritual malady”, becoming emotionally and intellectually disconnected from others and ourselves. Doctors and professionals refer to the spiritual malady described in the program of recovery as the need for a “complete psychic change” or a “personality change sufficient to overcome alcoholism”.

Without addressing these three fundamentals, alcoholics pursue the delusion that we can learn to drink “like a normal person” or learn to “control our drinking”. Without a solution, we will pursue this to the “gates of insanity or death”.

Those who have recovered from alcoholism by working the A.A. program, realize that once they have solved the “spiritual malady,”  a “complete psychic change” and/or have experienced a “personality change sufficient to overcome alcoholism,” they straighten out mentally and physically.

They have “recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body”.

The Program of Recovery is found in the book Alcoholics Anonymous.
Frequently referred to as the Big Book by members of AA. This is the basic text for the AA program.

The A.A. Program (from the home page)

To understand the solution, we must first understand the problem.

Alcoholics Anonymous approach to the disease of alcoholism is holistic. AA is a program of recovery for body, mind, and spirit.

The Problem

Alcoholism is a three part problem that requires a three part solution.  Alcoholics have the following:

  1. The “Physical allergy” which is an abnormal biochemical reaction to alcohol.  Alcoholics do not process alcohol like non-alcoholics. Once we take the first drink, we develop a physical craving that makes it seemingly impossible for us to stop drinking.

  2. A “Mental obsession” that can only be described as insanity concerning our recurring alcohol use. Once we stop drinking we return to drinking, regardless of all desire to stay stopped.  “At a certain point in the drinking of every alcoholic, we pass into a state where the most powerful desire to stay stopped is of absolutely no avail.”   -Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 24

  3. The “Spiritual malady”, becoming emotionally and intellectually disconnected from others and ourselves. Doctors and professionals refer to the spiritual malady described in the program of recovery as the need for a “complete psychic change” or a “personality change sufficient to overcome alcoholism”.

Without addressing these three fundamentals, alcoholics pursue the delusion that we can learn to drink “like a normal person” or learn to “control our drinking”. Without a solution, we will pursue this to the “gates of insanity or death”.

The Solution

The Program of recovery outlined in the book Alcoholics Anonymous, the Unity of our shared experience in and out of the AA meeting rooms. Service, giving back freely to the still suffering alcoholic. Recovery through the Twelve Step process described in the book Alcoholics Anonymous.

Those who have recovered from alcoholism by working the AA program, realize that once they have solved the “spiritual malady,”  had a “complete psychic change” and/or have experienced a “personality change sufficient to overcome alcoholism”, they straighten out mentally and physically.

 AA members have discovered a new design for living. They have “recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body”.

The Program of Recovery is found in the book Alcoholics Anonymous.

Frequently referred to as the Big Book by members of AA. This is the basic text for the AA program.

Alcoholism is a disease for which there is no known cure.

In AA, alcoholics learn to stay away from alcohol completely in order to lead a normal life.

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Anonymity in A.A.

  • Anonymity is maintained by its members because of the stigma of this illness and how this stigma can affect their personal and professional lives.
  • Personal anonymity is important to protect our fellow members of A.A.
  • Protect the organization from personalities that would become the face of A.A.
  • Most importantly, so that the newcomer will know that their anonymity is protected.

The A.A. organization and its members have worked for eighty years in their efforts to educate the public at large, and to remove the stigma of this disease. Our primary interest is in helping anyone with a drinking problem.

Northern California Accessibility Committee

We are dedicated to making Alcoholics Anonymous accessible to all.

The Northern California Accessibility Committee is a volunteer committee dedicated to providing materials and resources to members of Alcoholics Anonymous with accessibility issues in Northern California.

We work in cooperation with the Central California Fellowship of AA, other central offices/groups in the Central Valley and foothills of Northern California, the California Northern Interior Area (CNIA) 07, and the general service districts within CNIA.

We believe the still suffering alcoholic should not be barred from the recovery available in Alcoholics Anonymous because of any handicap, disability, or hindrance which may stand in the way.

The NCAC is devoted to locating and providing as many resources and materials as possible to help people with accessibility issues achieve sobriety.

Please check your meeting information for accuracy.
The meeting list is maintained by our special worker at
East Bay Intergroup.

The East Bay Intergroup meeting list is the source the Meeting Guide app relies on for the East Bay area.

The Meeting Guide app is maintained and updated by the voluntary efforts of AA members.

Meeting Guide App