Frequently asked questions

This page is intended to provide basic information on Alcoholics Anonymous. We have tried to answer the questions most frequently in the minds of people who are new to A.A. – the questions in our minds when we first approached the fellowship.

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If you repeatedly drink more than you intend or want to, if you get into trouble, or if you have memory lapses when you drink, you may be an alcoholic. It's a matter of whether your drinking is stopping you from leading the sort of life you want to lead. If you want to control your drinking but can't, then alcoholism is a definite possibility. But as far as A.A. is concerned whether you're an alcoholic is for you to decide. It's not up to anyone in A.A. to tell you whether you are or not. Click here to learn if A.A. is for you.
No. A.A. does not keep membership files, or attendance records. You do not have to reveal anything about yourself. No one will bother you if you don't want to come back. Learn more about A.A. meetings.
They will be there for the same reason you are. A.A. does not disclose your identity even to outsiders or even others inside our fellowship. You retain as much anonymity as you wish. That is one of the reasons we call ourselves Alcoholics Anonymous.
We would recommend you come to an A.A. meeting or at least contact someone in A.A. and talk them about your problem.
We are a Fellowship of men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking and have found ourselves in various kinds of trouble as a result of drinking. We attempt—most of us successfully—to create a satisfying way of life without alcohol. For this we find we need the help and support of other alcoholics in A.A. Learn more about Alcoholics Anonymous.
An A.A. meeting may take one of several forms, but at any meeting you will find alcoholics talking about what drinking did to their lives and personalities, what actions they took to help themselves, and how they are living their lives today. Learn more about A.A. meetings.
We in A.A. know what it is like to be addicted to alcohol, and to be unable to keep promises made to others and ourselves that we will stop drinking. We are not professional therapists. Our only qualification for helping others to recover from alcoholism is that we have stopped drinking ourselves. We have the ability to help problem drinkers because we are living proof that recovery is possible – we've done it.
We in A.A. believe there is no such thing as a cure for alcoholism. We can never return to normal drinking, and our ability to stay away from alcohol depends on maintaining our physical, mental, and spiritual health. This we can achieve by going to meetings regularly and putting into practice what we learn there. In addition, we find it helps us to stay sober if we help other alcoholics.
You are an A.A. member if and when you say you are. The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking (and many of us were not very wholehearted about that when we first approached AA).
There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership. An A.A. group will usually have a collection during the meeting to cover expenses, such as rent, coffee etc, members are free to contribute as much or as little as they wish.
No. Nor is it affiliated with any religious or other organization.
The majority of A.A. members believe that we have found the solution to our drinking problem not through individual willpower, but through a power greater than ourselves. However, everyone defines this power as he or she wishes. Many people call it God, others think it is the A.A. group, still others don't believe in it at all. There is room in A.A. for people of all shades of belief and nonbelievers.
Family members or close friends are welcome at "open" A.A. meetings. Discuss this with your local contact.
In our experience, the people who recover in A.A. are those who:
  • attend A.A. meetings regularly
  • seek out the people in A.A. they like who have successfully stayed sober for some time
  • put into practice the simple principles of AA’s program of recovery
  • stay away from the first drink one day at a time.
 
Alcoholics Anonymous operate a 24 hour telephone contact service on 0800 2296757. This will connect you to A.A. volunteers in the area you are calling from. The volunteers will be happy to answer your questions, or put you in touch with those who can. Alternatively please call, write or e mail (nzgso@aa.org.nz ) to the New Zealand General Service Office.
Is there more Literature available about A.A.? Yes there are many books and pamphlets about AA. Nearly all A.A. meetings have them available. Usually, pamphlets are given away free and books are sold at a modest cost. For a list of titles, see the literature store.

Help for Individuals

Help for Individuals
Are you worried you may have a problem with alcohol?
Take our simple quiz.

Help for Concerned Family

Concerned for a friend or family member?

Are you concerned for a friend or family member? Where can you find help or support?

Information for Professionals

Information for Professionals
Are you an employer, referrer, or other professional with questions?
Find out how
we can help you.

Information for the Media

Information for the Media
AA appreciates Media cooperation in protecting the anonymity of our members. Read our media policy.

Alcoholics Anonymous Website

www.aa.org.nz

A.A. Annual Convention

www.aaconvention.org.nz

A.A. Members Website

www.aamembers.org.nz