Alcoholics Anonymous

12 Steps

The 12 Steps of A.A.

The heart of the suggested program of personal recovery is contained in twelve steps (aka 12 Steps) describing the experience of the earliest members of the society.

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1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Reprinted from the book Alcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book) with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.

12 Traditions

The 12 Traditions of A.A.

The fellowship accumulated substantial experience which indicated that certain group attitudes and principles were particularly valuable in assuring survival of the informal structure of the Fellowship. In 1946, in the Fellowship’s international journal, the A.A. Grapevine, these principles were reduced to writing by the founders and early members as the Twelve Traditions (aka 12 Traditions) of Alcoholics Anonymous. They were accepted and endorsed by the membership as a whole at the International Convention of A.A., at Cleveland, Ohio, in 1950.

1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.

2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

3. The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.

4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.

5. Each group has but one primary purpose-to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

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

7. Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

8. Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

9. A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve

10. Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.

12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

Reprinted from the book Alcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book) with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.

What Is A.A.

What Does A.A. Do?

A.A. members share their experience with anyone seeking help with a drinking problem; they give person- to -person service or sponsorship to the alcoholic coming to A.A. from any source.
The A.A. program, set forth in our Twelve Steps, offers the alcoholic a way to develop a satisfying life without alcohol.
This program is discussed at A.A. group meetings.

A.A. Does Not

  • Furnish initial motivation for alcoholics to recover.
  • Solicit members.
  • Engage in or sponsor research.
    Keep attendance records or case histories.
  • Join councils of social agencies (although A.A. members, groups and service offices frequently cooperate with them).
  • Follow up or try to control its members.
  • Make medical or psychological diagnoses or prognoses.
  • Provide detox or nursing services, hospitalization, drugs, or any medical or psychiatric treatment.
  • Offer religious services or host/sponsor retreats.
  • Engage in education about alcohol.
    Provide housing, food, clothing, jobs, money, or any other welfare or socialservices.
  • Provide domestic or vocational counseling.
  • Accept any money for its services, or any contributions from non-A.A. sources.
  • Provide letters of reference to parole boards, lawyers, court officials, social agencies, employers, etc.