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New To Alcoholics Anonymous?

What is it?   Where do I start?   What do I do?   Where do I go?
If this page is too much, go to Short Introduction To AA.

What Is A.A.?

Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-suppporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem.

What Does A.A. Do?

  1. A.A. members share their experience with anyone seeking help with a drinking problem; they give person-to-person service or "sponsorship" to the alcoholic coming to A.A. from any source.

  2. The A.A. program, set forth in our Twelve Steps, offers the alcoholic a way to develop a satisfying life without alcohol.

  3. This program is discussed at A.A. group meetings.

    1. Open speaker meetings --- open to alcoholics and nonalcoholics. (Attendance at an open A.A. meeting is the best way to learn what A.A. is, what it does, and what it does not do.) At speaker meetings, A.A. members "tell their stories." They describe their experiences with alcohol, how they came to A.A., and how their lives have changed as a result of Alcoholics Anomymous.

    2. Open discussion meetings --- one member speaks briefly about his or her drinking experience, and then leads a discussion on A.A. recovery or any drinking-related problem anyone brings up. (Closed meetings are for A.A.s or anyone who may have a drinking problem.)

    3. Closed discussion meetings --- conducted just as open discussions are, but for slcoholics or prospective A.A.s only.

    4. Step meetings (usually closed) --- discussion of one of the Twelve Steps.

    5. A.A. members also take meetings into correctional and treatment fscilities.

    6. A.A. members may be asked to conduct the informational meetings about A.A. as a part of A.S.A.P. (Alcohol Safety Action Project) and D.W.I. (driving While Intoxicated) programs. These meetings about A.A. are not regular A.A. group meetings.


What A.A. Does Not Do:

• Recruit members or furnish initial motivation for alcoholics to recover.
• Keep membership records or case histories.
• Follow up or try to control its members.
• Make medical or psychological diagnoses or prognoses.
• Provide hospitalization, drugs, or medical or psychiatric treatment.
• Provide housing, food, clothing, jobs, money or other such services.
• Provide domestic or vocational counseling.
• Engage in or sponsor research.
• Affiliate with social agencies (though many members and service offices do
  cooperate with them).
• Offer religious services.
• Engage in any controversy about alcohol or other matters.
• Accept money for its services or contributions from non-A.A. sources.
• Provide letters of reference to parole boards, attorneys, court officials, schools,
  businesses, social agencies, or any other organization or institution.


What Does Anonymity Mean To A.A.?

Members of Alcoholics Anonymous make a point of carrying the message about their own recovery in A.A. on a person-to-person basis --- but never disclose the membership of others. In this way, they may serve as examples of recovery and thus stimulate active alcoholics to seek help.

In the public media, however --- such as TV, radio, films, press and the Internet --- A.A. Traditions urge members to maintain strict anonymity, for three reasons;

  1. We have learned from our own experience that the active alcoholic will shun any source of help which might reveal his or her identity.

  2. Past events indicate that those alcoholics who seek public recognition as A.A. members may drink again.

  3. Public attention and publicity for individual members of A.A. would invite selfserving competition and conflict over differing personal views.

Anonymity in public media guards the unity of A.A. members and preserves the attraction of the program for the millions who still need help.


◊ Read Is A.A. For You?
◊ Read the Frequently Asked Questions
◊ Talk to someone

  Lancaster Central Service Office of Alcoholics Anonymous
  630 Janet Ave, Lancaster [Map]
• Phone: (717) 394-3238
• Email: Chairperson   Office Coordinator   Webservant

Beginners meetings

• Here are a few meetings specifically geared to newcomers.

Mon - 7:30 pm Beginners Group, First Reformed Church, 40 E. Orange St, Lancaster. (Speaker on Last Mon).
Tue - 8:00 pm One Day at a Time Group, New Holland United Methodist Church, 120 W. Main St, New Holland.
Tue - 7:00 pm Quarryville Unity Beginners Group, ST. Paul’s Church, Fourth & Church Sts, Quarryville, Use parking lot entrance on Church St.
Wed - 7:30 pm Newcomers Group, United Methodist Church, corner of Duke and Walnut St, Lancaster - Parking Lot Entrance.
Wed - 8:00 pm Easy Does It Group, 521 Club, 2400 Butter Road, Lancaster.
Thur - 8:00 pm Lititz Life on Life's Terms Group, St. James Catholic Church, 505 Woodcrest Road, Lititz -  Newcomer Meeting next door.
Fri & Sat- Noon Walk & Talk Group, Grace Evangelical CC, 131 Terrace Ave, Ephrata.
Sat - 11:00 am Newcomers Group, United Methodist Church, corner of Duke and Walnut St, Lancaster - Parking Lot Entrance.

• All meetings are for every person with a desire to stop drinking, whether it's your 1st day or 1,000th day of sobriety.

◊ Sponsor (a person who is willing to help you personally)

• Consider asking someone to be your sponsor.
Having a sponsor is like being lost and turning on your GPS to guide you to your destination.

 Remember: You never have to feel this way again!

You are not alone!

About AA

The AA Program

Privacy & Anonymity

AA Links


Service

"Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drink as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail. This is our twelfth suggestion: Carry this message to other alcoholics! You can help when no one else can. You can secure their confidence when others fail. Remember they are very ill.

Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends -- this is an experience you must not miss."

Structure Of The Conference

"The General Service Conference of A.A. has become, for nearly every practical purpose, the active voice and the effective conscience of our whole Society in its world affairs." -The 2nd Concept

Responsibility Pledge

I Am Responsibile.
When Anyone, Anywhere
Reaches Out For Help,
I Want The Hand Of A.A.
Always To Be There.
And For That,
I Am Responsible!