Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem.
A.A.defines alcoholism as an illness. Alcoholics cannot control their drinking, because they are ill in their bodies and in their minds (or emotions), A.A. believes. If they do not stop drinking, their alcoholism almost always gets worse and worse.
Both the American Medical Association and the British Medical Association, chief organizations of doctors in those countries, also have said that alcoholism is an illness.
Do you have alcoholism?
Alcoholics Anonymous is established in over 180 countries. The people in each group get together, usually once or twice a week, to hold A.A. meetings, of two main types: (1) open meetings, (2) closed meetings. At open meetings, anyone is welcome. At closed meetings, only those who have a desire to stop drinking are welcome. Meetings in Belize are held in English and Spanish
A.A. was started in 1935 by a New York stockbroker and an Ohio surgeon, who had both been “hopeless” drunks. At first, most A.A. members also had been seriously ill; their drinking had sent them to hospitals, sanitariums, or jails. But more and more people began to hear about A.A., and soon many alcoholics found they did not have to let their illness do that much damage. They could recover in A.A. before their health had been totally wrecked, while they still had
their jobs and their families.