Getting Help With an Alcohol Problem

Am I an Alcoholic?

One of the most common questions people ask is, "Am I an alcoholic?" No one can answer this question but you. Only you can decide if you are an alcoholic or not. But you are not alone. Each of the two million people attending AA meetings today in Canada and the US had to decide for themselves at some point that they were an alcoholic. Do I have to be an alcoholic to attend AA? No. Many people attend AA meetings for months, listening to others share before they decide they are an alcoholic.

Only you can decide whether you want to give Alcoholics Anonymous a try - whether you think it can help you. We who are in A.A. came because we finally gave up trying to control our drinking. We still hated to admit that we could never drink safely. Then we heard from other A.A. members that we were sick (we thought so for years!). We found out that many people suffered from the same feelings of guilt and loneliness and hopelessness that we did. We found out that we had these feelings because we had the disease of alcoholism. We decided to try to face up to what alcohol had done to us.

Information here about alcoholism may be helpful.

A Brief Guide to Alcoholics Anonymous A brief introduction to A.A.
Is A.A. for You? Symptoms of alcoholism are summed up in 12 questions
Frequently Asked Questions About A.A. - (Formerly 44 Questions) Answers the questions most frequently asked about A.A. by alcoholics seeking help, as well as by their families and friends.
Newcomer Asks Answers 15 commonly asked questions about A.A.

Do you think you are different?

We are all different. We are all pretty special people. But we are also all alcoholics and all sober in A.A. together. In this, we are more like each other than different. Here in A.A., we find the shared humanity that enables us to live out our widely different lives and pursue our separate and individual destinies. You are welcome to join us.

We in A.A. believe alcoholism is a disease that is no respecter of age, sex, creed, race, wealth, occupation, or education. It strikes at random. Our experience seems to show that anyone can be an alcoholic. And, beyond question, anyone who wants to stop drinking is welcome in A.A.

Information here about various personal circumstances may help.

A.A. and the Armed Services Personal stories tell how men or women in the military - any rank, any age - can beat a drinking problem through A.A.
A.A. for the Black and African American Alcoholic Personal stories of finding sobriety and a new way of life in Alcoholics Anonymous.
A.A. for the Native North American Addressed to Native American A.A. members; also contains some of their stories.
A.A. for the Older Alcoholic - Never Too Late The stories of eight men and women who came to A.A. after 60
Problems Other Than Alcohol Bill's thoughts on the status of drug addicts within A.A.
Women in A.A. Relates the experiences of 12 women, all of whom are alcoholics who have found sobriety and a new way of life in A.A.
A.A. for Alcoholics with Mental Health Issues Relates the experiences of 12 women and men alcoholics coping with serious mental health issues who have found sobriety and a new way of life in A.A.
Memo to an Inmate Who May Be an Alcoholic A message from A.A.s who have themselves been inmates.
LGBTQ Alcoholics in A.A. Excerpts from the experience, strength and hope of sober LGBTQ alcoholics point out that the tie that binds us all together is freedom from alcohol.
Do You Think You're Different? Speaks to newcomers who may wonder how A.A. can work for someone "different" - black or Jewish, teenager or nearing 80, plus nine other people who tell how the A.A. program has worked for them.

Too Young to be an Alcoholic?

No one is too young to have trouble with alcohol. Alcoholism is an illness that affects people of all ages, the rich, the poor, men and women. It doesn't matter how long, or how much you drink. When your life seems to be going nowhere, or it feels out of control and you think drinking might have something to do with it, it usually does.

There is information here for young people.

Young & Sober in A.A.: From Drinking to Recovery Video: Young and drinking too much? Through A.A., these young people got sober and found recovery.
A Group of People Just Like Me Video: Hear stories from A.A. members who got sober when they were young, and how young people's meetings helped them to quit drinking and to find a community of sober friends.
Young People's Animation Video Video: Too young to be an alcoholic? There is no such thing as being too young to get sober.
Alcoholics Anonymous Video: A member tells how Alcoholics Anonymous helped her to quit drinking at 17 and to find a community of sober friends at young people's meetings.
25 and Under Video: Listen to stories from A.A. members who got sober before they turned 25 as they tell what happened when they drank alcohol, and how Alcoholics Anonymous has changed their lives.
On the Beach Video: These Alcoholics Anonymous members quit drinking young and found recovery through the 12 Steps.
Message to Teenagers How to tell when drinking is becoming a problem.
Too Young? Speaks directly to teenagers telling the varied drinking stories of six young people (13 to 18) and showing their welcome to A.A.
Young People and A.A. Ten Young A.A.'s - 16 to 27 - tell how the program works for them.

In-Person Meetings

In-person meetings are the heart of A.A. It is where A.A. members gather to share experience, strength and hope with each other, that we may solve our common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. These in-person meetings are usually essential to newcomers to recover from alcoholism.

Some in-person meetings are currently taking place while others are still suspended due to Covid19 restrictions. Information about in-person meetings is available on the Contact Us and Meetings page. For those that cannot get to the in-person meetings happening at this time it is recommended to attend some of the Online Meetings.

Attendence at these meetings is anonymous. People introduce themselves by first name only. We do not share anything about people from the meeting outside of the meeting. Sometimes this is stated in the meeting as:

"Who you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here - let it stay here."

Anyone and everyone is welcome at a meeting, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or transgender status), age, disability, criminal history, genetic information, or other addictions. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.

There are no dues or fees for attending. Usually sometime during the meeting an opportunity is provided to make voluntary donations.

Online Meetings

Due to the impact of Covid19, many online meetings have sprung up. Typically these meetings use the Zoom platform. Members login to these meetings by starting the Zoom app and entering the id and password for the meeting. Online meetings allow us to join meetings from our home. You can find tutorials about how to use the Zoom platform at Zoom Support. Listings of the online meetings is available on the Contact Us and Meetings page.

A.A. Information About Alcoholism

A.A. World Services provides lots of information about alcoholism via their site at aa.org. Information here may be helpful.

Is A.A. for Me? An illustrated, easy-to-read version of the 12 questions in "Is A.A. for You?"
This Is A.A. - An introduction to the A.A. recovery program Information for anyone who thinks he or she may have a problem with alcohol.
A New Freedom Video: A.A. in jails and prisons: even in correctional facilities, they found freedom from alcoholism through A.A.
Sobriety in A.A.: We made changes to stop drinking Video: Drinking problem? If you want to get sober, A.A. offers a solution. Alcoholics Anonymous helps alcoholics stop drinking - and live a better life - one day at a time.
Hope: Alcoholics Anonymous Video: Can A.A. help me stop drinking? Members explain how Alcoholics Anonymous works and what to expect in meetings.
Why Anonymous? Video: Why is anonymity important in A.A.? Learn how the principle of anonymity can offer a path to recovery for someone with a drinking problem.
Sobriety in A.A.: Since getting sober, I have hope Video: Listen to one woman's story of how Alcoholics Anonymous gave her hope and helped her to live without drinking. (PI PSA)
Sobriety in A.A.: Opening doors to a life without drinking Video: Members talk about their experiences with alcohol and how A.A. helped them change their lives.
Access to A.A.: Members Share on Overcoming Barriers The experience of A.A. members who are hearing and visually impaired, housebound chronically ill or disabled due to brain damage or stroke.
Is There an Alcoholic in Your Life? Explains the A.A. program as it affects anyone close to an alcoholic - spouse, family member, friend.
It Happened to Alice - How she faced a drinking problem Easy-to-read "comic book" style pamphlet for women alcoholics.
What Happened to Joe Dramatic story of a young construction worker and his drinking problem
A.A. Member - Medications and Other Drugs Report from a group of doctors in Alcoholics Anonymous. A.A. members share their experience with medications and other drugs.
Understanding Anonymity Explains clearly what anonymity means both within and outside A.A.
Where Do I Go From Here? We alcoholics stick together to overcome the disease of alcoholism.
Information on Alcoholics Anonymous Basic information about A.A. meetings
A.A. at a Glance Ten facts about A.A.
Many Paths to Spirituality A.A. is not religious. Everyone chooses their own spirituality
The "God" Word: Agnostic and Atheist Members in A.A. A.A. is not a religious organization. There is room in A.A. for people of all shades of belief and non-belief.
Questions and Answers on Sponsorship Answers 34 questions likely to be asked by persons seeking sponsors, persons wanting to be sponsors, and groups planning sponsorship activity