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Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) helps alcoholics to recover.

A Fellowship, alcoholics help each other and reach out to others struggling with alcoholism.

Founded in 1935, our approach works. Today, two million members around the world now live a new way of life.

  • AA is concerned solely with the recovery and continued sobriety of individual alcoholics who seek our help.
  • AA is freely available to all who seek it, regardless of class, ethnicity, religion, race, sexuality, or gender.
  • Our experience is freely available to those who work with or come across problem drinkers, including health and social workers, educators, religious leaders, prison services and the military.
  • Our approach is to co-operate with but not endorse or express an opinion on other groups concerned with the problem of alcoholism.
  • We do not accept or seek financial support from outside sources.
  • Members preserve personal anonymity in the press, social media, and at the public level.

The importance of anonymity

Traditionally, AA members have always taken care to be anonymous.

In the early days, this was because of the stigma around alcoholism. Today, anonymity has other benefits. We know from experience alcoholics can hesitate asking for help if they are worried their problems will be discussed publicly.

Anonymity also ensures our members don’t get distracted by ego – a desire for recognition or reputation. It helps focus on our main priority: the recovery and continued sobriety of individual alcoholics.

It’s up to each member of AA to follow this AA tradition.

An AA member may, for various reasons, break anonymity deliberately at the public level. This is a matter of individual choice and conscience; breaking anonymity does not have the approval of the majority of AA members.

No individual can speak on behalf of the Fellowship locally, nationally, or internationally. Each member speaks only for themself.

AA is indebted to all media for their assistance in strengthening the tradition of anonymity over the years.

Download a PDF copy of the AA Structure Handbook here.