About AA

AA and alcoholism

Alcoholics Anonymous is concerned solely with the personal recovery and continued sobriety of individual alcoholics who turn to the Fellowship for help. 

The Fellowship has adopted a policy of “cooperation but not affiliation” with other organisations concerned with the problem of alcoholism.  A.A. does not engage in the fields of alcoholism research, medical or psychiatric treatment, education, or advocacy in any form, although members may participate in such activities as individuals.  A.A. does not accept or seek financial support from outside sources.

In all public relationships, AA’s sole objective is to help the still suffering alcoholic.  AA experience has always been made available freely to all who sought it – business people, spiritual leaders, civic groups, law enforcement officers, health and welfare personnel, educators, institutional authorities and many others.  But AA never endorses, supports, becomes affiliated with, or expresses an opinion on the programs of others in the field of alcoholism, since such actions would be beyond the scope of the Fellowship's primary purpose.

Always mindful of the importance of preserving personal anonymity in print and broadcast media and otherwise at the public level, we believe we can help the still suffering alcoholic by making known to that individual, and to those who may be interested in his or her problem, our own experience as individuals and as a fellowship in learning to live without alcohol. 

AA worldwide

Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in the United States in 1935  and can be defined as an informal society of around 3,000,000 recovered alcoholics throughout the world. These men and women meet in local groups, which range in size from a handful in some localities to many hundreds in larger communities. Currently, women make up 35 percent of the total membership. 

AA in the UK

AA was established in the UK in London on Monday 31 March 1947. Today we have over 3,700 regular weekly meetings throughout the UK with a membership of about 40,000. All major towns and cities will have daily meetings and many small towns will have at least one meeting per week.

A full account of our history

AA in Plymouth

Here in Plymouth we cover the city and nearby areas of both Devon and Cornwall. We have 34 meetings each week; in Plymouth city alone we have daily meetings (with two on most days) for a total of 22 meetings per week. Our regular membership is over 700 with people of all ages, backgrounds and professions being found in our numbers.

Open Meetings

As the term suggests, meetings of this type are open to alcoholics and their families and to anyone interested in solving a personal drinking problem or helping someone else to solve such a problem.

Most open meetings follow a more or less set pattern, although distinctive variations have developed in some areas. A chairperson describes the AA program briefly for the benefit of any newcomers to AA in the audience and introduces one, two or three speakers who relate their personal drinking histories and may give their personal interpretation of AA.

Midway through the meeting there is usually a period for local AA announcements, and a treasurer passes the hat to defray costs of the meeting hall, literature, and incidental expenses. The meeting adjourns, often followed by informal visiting over coffee or other light refreshments.

Guests at AA open meetings are reminded that any opinions or interpretations they may hear are solely those of the speaker involved. All members are free to interpret the recovery program in their own terms, but none can speak for the local group or for AA as a whole.

Closed Meetings

These meetings are limited to alcoholics and those who think or know they have a problem with drinking. They provide an opportunity for members to relate their experiences with one another on problems related to drinking patterns and attempts to achieve stable sobriety. They also permit detailed discussion of various elements in the recovery program.