Individuals / Newcomers Resources & Info

New to A.A.?
  • If you want to talk to an A.A. member about getting help for your drinking problem, call our hotline 217-373-4200, 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
  • Or you can speak with A.A. members by going to an A.A. meeting. Find a meeting on our Meetings Page. You will see meetings identified as “Closed” or “Open.”
  • Closed A.A. meetings are for persons who have a desire to stop drinking.
  • Open A.A. meetings are for anyone who will respect the anonymity of the other people attending the meeting.
  • At A.A. meetings, the person chairing will ask, “Is anyone here attending their first A.A. meeting?.” You then introduce yourself by your first name and briefly state why you came to the meeting.
  • At in person meetings, when a newcomer identifies themselves, a printed meeting list is usually passed for attendees to share their names and numbers. At the end of the meeting, the list is given to the newcomer.
  • At online meetings, after the meeting ends, the meeting channel stays open to give newcomers the chance to speak with others and to get phone numbers.
  • Call or text those numbers; get to know A.A. through its members. They have all been where you are and have felt what how feel now.
  • The most important thing is to keep coming back. If your first meeting doesn’t suit you, try another. At those meetings, ask for phone numbers. Use them. Soon you will discover a group where you feel comfortable and be surrounded by people who freely offer you support on your journey of recovery.
What A.A. Does Not Do
  • AA. does not furnish initial motivation for alcoholics to recover
  • A.A. does not solicit members
  • A.A. does not engage in or sponsor research
  • A.A. does not keep attendance records or case histories
  • A.A. does not join “councils” or social agencies (although A.A. members, groups and service offices frequently cooperate with them)
  • A.A. does not follow up or try to control its members
  • A.A. does not make medical or psychological diagnoses or prognoses
  • A.A. does not provide detox, rehabilitation or nursing services, hospitalization, drugs or any medical or psychiatric treatment
  • A.A. does not offer religious services or host/sponsor retreats
  • A.A. does not engage in education about alcohol
  • A.A. does not provide housing, food, clothing, jobs, money, or any welfare or social services
  • A.A. does not accept money for its services, or any contributions from non-A.A. sources
  • A.A. does not provide letters of reference to parole boards, lawyers, court officials, social agencies, employers etc.

From A.A. at a Glance [pub. F-1] © 1977 A.A. World Services, Inc. and Information on Alcoholics Anonymous: For Anyone New Coming to A.A., For Anyone Referring People to A.A. [pub. F-2] © 2014 A.A. World Services, Inc.

Personal Anonymity in Online Meetings
Online A.A. Publications & Media