What to expect when attending an AA Meeting?
There are no fees or membership requirements to attend an AA meeting.
- Meetings that are listed as “Open’ (O) indicate that anyone can attend the meeting.
- A “Closed Meeting” (C) means only those who have a desire to stop drinking can attend.
Some meetings can be specific to men or to women. Many meetings also designate that they are for beginners. All meetings should be listed with a code indicating the type and a legend defining the code meaning. Here are some examples and descriptions:
Discussion Meeting (D):
An AA member serving as “leader” or “chair” opens the meeting, using that group’s format and selects a topic for discussion.
Literature Meeting (L):
The meeting “chair” will invite the group to read out-loud in turn from A.A. literature. After the reading, meeting attendees can share on what was read. Anyone can choose to pass if they do not want to read.
Speaker Meeting (S):
One or more members selected beforehand “share,” their AA experience. You will hear what they were like, what happened and what they are like now. After they share their experience, the meeting attendees can comment or “share” their thoughts.
Finding a Meeting
AA is everywhere! There are local meetings you can attend in person or virtually. There are also meetings all over the world.
Click on the links below to search for a meeting.
What to Expect if you are New
Below are some tips on what typically happens at a meeting:
- The meeting “Chair” will ask if anyone is new or visiting the meeting for the first time. We encourage you to introduce yourself with your first name only.
- The group may let you know they have a list of people willing to be a “Sponsor”.. Click here to read more about AA Sponsorship.
- Meetings honor the AA 7th Tradition by passing a basket or talking about ways to contribute funds to their group and AA. You are not obligated to contribute; you may see others offer a dollar or two into the basket if the meeting is in-person.
- The Meeting after the Meeting….when the meeting ends, attendees typically hang around for conversation. It’s a time to connect, possibly get phone numbers of others or find a member willing to be your “Sponsor”. Click here for the AA Pamphlet for the Newcomer.
Why Get a Sponsor
AA can be a beneficial part of recovery. By going through the 12 steps with another person, you will discover more about yourself and how to become the person you were meant and want to be. A Sponsor is another AA Member who has been through The 12 Steps, done the work, and can share with you their experience. Click here to read more about AA Sponsorship.
Readings and Literature at AA Meetings
Each meeting format will vary on the material they read.
Click below to view some of the most common readings you will hear at the beginning of a meeting:
More About Alcoholism (from pg 30 of the Big Book)
A Vision for You: (from pg 164 of the Big Book)
The Promises (pgs 83-84 of the Big Book)