Only you can make that determination. To be an alcoholic means that we cannot consistently predict or control our consumption and that negative consequences from our drinking are occurring in our lives- physical, mental, emotional, financial and/or social.
A doctor specializing in alcoholic treatment (and early friend of AA) says we alcoholics suffer from an illness of a two fold nature- an obsession of the mind to experience the ease and comfort that comes from taking a drink; and an allergy of the body which, after taking the first drink, triggers a phenomenon of craving. This craving is powerful enough to insure we cannot consistently control the frequency or amount we consume.
No. AA offers a Twelve Step approach to living without alcohol. We do not offer detox, hospitalization, residential treatment programs, medical attention or professional help. AA is a peer mentoring program, using the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions found in the book “Alcoholics Anonymous”.
You are a member when you can say “I think I might have a problem with alcohol”. You are then welcome at all AA meetings, both open and closed. They usually last one hour. There are over 600 meetings a week in western Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
AA is an unusual organization. Each member is a part of the great whole and has a voice in how AA is run. AA is a true democracy. Each meeting is autonomous in their meeting decisions. The overall organization is run and managed by the whole.
The Twelve Traditions imbody the spirit of the program and are guidelines as to how each group and the overall organization operate.
AA has no dues or fees. AA does not accept outside donations. AA is fully supported by the voluntary service and financial contributions of its members. Yearly financial contributions have a yearly limit for each member. Keeping the members influence equal in the operation of the organization.
Generally, yes. The courts and treatment facilities, as well as other interested parties, frequently ask for meeting confirmations of attendance. We are bound to a Tradition of non-affiliation with any outside entity, but we do seek to be cooperative. Each group or member has the right under the Tradition of anonymity to decide whether they sign meeting confirmations. It is best to show up early to the meeting and ask if they honor the age old tradition of providing meeting confirmations. AA does not provide court cards or confirmation cards. Please provide the card from the institution asking for the confirmation.
No. AA is not a religious program. AA is neither affiliated with, nor endorses, any religious belief or dogma. Members of AA range from the hard and fast beliefs of atheism to the most ardent of religious devotees from every denomination, sect and culture. AA does not endorse nor oppose any other organization or profession.
The Twelve Steps are the core of the A.A. program of recovery. They are the program of action found in our primary text, Alcoholics Anonymous (also referred to as “the Big Book”), that many have found necessary to maintain their sobriety.
That will be up to you, but as one member suggested, “My sobriety is a living thing and must be tended diligently, or it will whither and die.”
Please call us anytime at 510-839-8900 or chat with one of our members. The helpline and chat feature are staffed by volunteer members of AA who have solved the drink problem.