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75 Years of AA
Date: 10/06/2010

Alcoholics mark 75 Years of AA at 4,000 Meetings in Britain and Continental Europe

On the morning of 10th June 1935, a failed New York stockbroker handed an Ohio town doctor a bottle of beer to stop the shakes.

Bill W had given Dr Bob his last drink and Alcoholics Anonymous was born.

Today it has more than two million members in 150 countries. Some 25,000 of them will quietly celebrate the 75th birthday of the organisation at one of 3,600 weekly meetings in England, Scotland and Wales along with 500 English-speaking meetings across Continental Europe.

A non-alcoholic trustee of AA, said: "Alcoholics Anonymous is possibly the most cost-effective means of recovery from alcoholism, with more than 600 meetings a week in London alone.

Alcoholism transcends social, economic, age and gender boundaries. People from all walks of life find that drinking is costing them more than money. AA membership figures tell only part of the life-changing stories - behind each alcoholic who stops drinking, there are untold numbers of families, friends, neighbours and employers, as well as healthcare, psychiatric, social and probation professionals who benefit.

The face of AA itself is changing. Their latest - and anonymous - surveys of new members show that half are women and three-quarters are under the age of 45. There have also been recent initiatives to reach out to black and minority ethnic communities, underlining that AA is available to anyone who wants to stop drinking.

At the end of the month, more than 50,000 AAs from all over the world will travel to America for a weekend convention in San Antonio, while this weekend around 1,000 will gather privately in South London to raise a non-alcohol glass to the movement that began and still grows with one alcoholic talking to another."

Notes to Editors

AA non-alcoholic trustees are available for interviews by prior arrangement. Casestudies of AA recovering alcoholics who have written 300-600 words of their stories of drinking and sobriety under pseudonyms are also available.

Local AA office staff can pass on media requests for follow-up interviews in all UK regions. Contact:

York 01904 644026
London 020 7833 0022
Glasgow 0141 226 2214

AA National helpline 0845 769 7555
www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk

Important

The lives of alcoholics and their families depend on the ability to maintain personal anonymity. Members should remain anonymous in the media. Press are invited to attend an open meeting of AA only if accompanied at all times by a representative from Alcoholics Anonymous, arranged in advance with prior consent from meeting attendees. No recording equipment may be used.

Below is AA's preamble

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.


For further information please contact:

General Service Office 01904 644026
Southern Service Office 0207 833 0022
Northern Service Office 0141 226 2214


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