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AA and the Media

Alcoholics Anonymous has a great deal of material, including articles, first person stories, DVDs, radio and television announcements,  which are available for use by the media industry.

The following is one example of an article and we would be delighted to allow you to use this if it is appropriate.  The only request we would make is that you contact us on 01904 644026 at our General Service Office to ask permission to publish or to discuss the material that is available.

Helpline:  0800 9177 650

Alcoholics Anonymous works towards bringing more communication, understanding, respect and co-operation between AA and any professional person who works with alcoholics, so that more and more alcoholics may recover.

Alcoholics Anonymous is a worldwide fellowship of men and women who help each other to stay sober. They offer the same help to anyone who has a drinking problem and wants to do something about it.  Since members are all alcoholics themselves they have a special understanding of each other.  They know what the illness feels like - and they have learned how to recover from it in AA.

Like other illnesses, alcoholism strikes all sorts of people.  So the men and women in AA are of all races and nationalities, all religions and no religion at all, they work at all occupations, are of any age.

AA was started in 1935 by a New York stockbroker and an Ohio surgeon, who had both been "hopeless" drunks. At first, most AA members also had been seriously ill:  their drinking had sent them to hospitals, sanatoriums or jails.  But more and more people began to hear about AA and soon many alcoholics found they did not have to let their illness do that much damage.  They could recover in AA before their health had been totally wrecked and while they still had their jobs and families.

By keeping alcohol out of their systems, newcomers take care of one part of their illness - their bodies have a chance to get well.  They begin to straighten out their confused thinking and unhappy feelings by following AA's suggested "Twelve Steps" to recovery.  These Steps suggest ideas and actions that can guide alcoholics toward happy and useful lives.  To stay in touch new members go to AA meetings regularly with other members and learn about the recovery programme.

In Great Britain and Continental European Region there are currently about 4000 groups of Alcoholics Anonymous. The people in each group regularly get together to hold AA meetings.

"Closed meetings": The Closed Meeting is intended for alcoholics and for those with an alcohol problem who have a desire to stop drinking.

"Open meetings": The Open Meeting is intended for alcoholics and non alcoholics e.g. family, friends and anyone interested in AA.

AA works in co-operation, without affiliation,  with the professional and other sections of the community in playing its part in the circle of help needed around the alcoholic.  The AA National Helpline telephone number will put those with a drink problem in direct contact with a local member of AA and we are also able to provide contact for those being released from prison, hospital or remand home etc.  AA meetings take place within prisons, hospitals, and other institutions on the request of the appropriate authorities, and AA speakers attend groups of professionals including those in the fields of health, prisons and probation.

Alcoholics Anonymous accepts no outside funding, it is completely self supporting through the voluntary contributions of the members themselves.

How to Find Out More

Going to AA Open meetings is the best possible way to get a feel for the form and dynamics of AA. There are many of these types of meetings where the non-alcoholic is welcome to attend to observe. If you have any questions someone will be pleased to answer them after the meeting.

Further information is available from 
The General Service Office of Alcoholics Anonymous,
PO Box 1,
10 Toft Green,
York,
YO1 7NJ
Tel No:  01904 644026,  Fax No: 01904 629091.