Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book



District 14 Central Office
24 Hollywood Blvd. SW, Ft Walton Beach, Fl. 32548 850-244-2421

I am Responsible... When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there, and for that: I am responsible.

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The membership of this AA group in particular and the entire membership of AA in general would like you to know that we welcome you as a fellow traveler on the road of life. If you have a problem with alcohol and want to stop drinking we are all traveling the same road. Every member of AA has, in his or her own way, known the grief, pain and demoralization that uncontrolled consumption of alcohol can induce. We who have found that participating in the AA program has taken us off the road to ruin and led us on the path to live happy, joyous and free, would like to share our experience, strength and hope with you. By doing so we try to convey the message that through the program of AA you too may live a happy and productive life free from the bondage of alcohol.


Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women, who share their experience. strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership. We are self supporting through our own contributions. AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

Reprinted with permission of the AA Grapevine Inc.,


You and only you can say that you are or are not a member of AA. If you say you are a member and meet the single requirement, a desire to stop drinking, you are a member. AA keeps neither membership nor attendance records. Everyone in AA is on a first name basis with the other members, in fact last names are rarely heard at an AA meting and then only by a member who decides to reveal his or her own last name, never .someone else's. We care not where you come from, where you live, what you do for a living or any other personal information. We ask your first name so as to distinguish you from other members. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of our traditions. We will respect your anonymity and strongly request that you respect ours.


There are two types of AA meetings. Open; all visitors as well as members are welcome. Closed; attendance is limited to members, which includes anyone with a desire to stop drinking. The schedule indicates which meetings are open and those that are closed. At all meetings discussion is limited to our problems with alcohol.

There are no counselors in AA. If you want advice you will have to ask for it. In this regard we suggest you ask a more experienced member to be your temporary sponsor to guide you in your early stages of sobriety. What we do is tell you what we were like when we drank, what we did about it and what our lives are like without alcohol. We have found that a sober life is a better life.

No one in AA will diagnose your case. Any decisions or conclusions will be your own. Only you can say whether or not you have a problem with alcohol and only you know if you want to stop drinking or not. That's your business but, if you decide you want what we have we will offer all the help we can provide. The only equipment you need to benefit from your attendance at AA meetings is an open mind.


AA is not a religious organization, it is a spiritual program. You will hear and read the word God and a Higher Power in every facet of the AA program but it is the God of each individual members understanding. You may be told as many newcomers are, that all you need to know about God coming into AA is that you are not Him or Her. A highly respected member of the program with over twenty years of sobriety admits that his first prayer was addressed to Whom It May Concern. If you believe in a God, a Supreme Being or belong to a religious denomination you will find nothing in the AA program in conflict with your present beliefs. Should you be agnostic or an atheist an open mind is all you need to succeed in the program. AA's spirituality is based on the premise that all alcoholics need the loving help of a power greater than themselves to overcome the ravages of alcoholism. The essence of the AA program is found in the A, B,  Cs of how it works: a, That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives, b, That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism. c, That God could and would if He were sought.

How you progress in the AA program will be directly related to the effort you put into it. Everyone you see at an AA meeting has experienced the uncomfortable feeling of being new to AA. Perhaps the hardest steps you have taken in your life were those that brought you into this meeting room. If you have been introduced to AA in a treatment center you have a leg up but regardless of how we get to AA the important thing is * that we got here and with the help of our Higher Power we will stay on to live a sober life.

Remember that the disease of alcoholism is incurable we are all arresting our disease one day at a time.



1. Acquire and read the book Alcoholics Anonymous.

2. Read the AA traditions, you'll see how you fit in the AA structure.

3. Ask questions, there are no foolish questions in AA

4. Try to make as many meetings as possible.

"Public Information takes many forms - the simple sign outside a meeting place that says 'A.A. meeting tonight'; listing in local phone directories; distribution of A.A. literature; and radio and television shows using sophisticated media techniques.  Whatever the form, it comes down to 'one drunk carrying the message to another drunk,' whether through personal contact or through the use of third parties and the media."  - Bill W.

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