What is an alcoholic?

If an individual repeatedly drinks more than they intend or want to, if they get into trouble, or if they have memory lapses when they drink, they may be an alcoholic. If they want to control their drinking but can't, then alcoholism is a definite possibility. But as far as AA is concerned, it is up to the individual to decide whether they're an alcoholic.


AA is set up to help alcoholics who have a desire to stop drinking.  If an individual’s drinking is causing you problems, or you have issues with an individual who drinks, then you should contact Al-Anon www.al-anon.org.nz. Al-Anon Family Groups consist of relatives and friends of alcoholics who, by banding together, can better solve their common problem.

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


A.A. Annual Convention


A.A. Members Website