Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Is AA?

The following is the definition of A.A. appearing in the Fellowship’s basic literature and cited frequently at meetings of A.A. groups:

Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of people who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, 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. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership;


Resources on the Alcoholics Anonymous website

AA Preamble

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people 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 A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. 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.

© A.A. Grapevine, Inc.; reprinted with permission.

AA can also be defined as:

An informal society of more than 2,000,000 recovering alcoholics in the United States, Canada, and other countries. These people meet in local groups, which range in size from a handful in some localities to many hundreds in larger communities. Currently, women make up 35 percent of the total membership. Only you can decide whether you want to give A.A. 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 and face up to what alcohol had done to us.

Looking to attend a meeting?

Our first suggestion when looking to attend a meeting is to call our office at 202-966-9115 and speak with volunteers who are available 24 hours a day. They can help you find a meeting near you or answer questions about AA.

Safety In AA

Safety is an important issue within A.A. — one that all groups and members can address to develop workable solutions and help keep our meetings safe based on the fundamental principles of the Fellowship.

What can I do? Groups and members can discuss the topic of safety, raise awareness in the Fellowship, and seek through sponsorship, workshops and meetings to create as safe an environment as possible for the newcomer, other members or potential members. This can be the subject of sharing among groups at the district or area level.

Please see the resources below provided by the General Service Office of Alcoholics Anonymous:

Other frequently asked questions:

Frequently asked questions about WAIA:

WAIA will be adding more content to this section soon. In the meantime if you have questions about the program please call the WAIA office at 202-966-9115 or visit the AA General Services Office website: