How do you become a member of A.A.?


By David Joel Miller

Is A.A. membership expensive?

What do you have to do to get accepted into membership?

AA Big Book

AA Big Book

A.A. is one of the more unusual organizations when it comes to becoming a member.

They do not charge a membership fee. There are no monthly or annual dues to pay. They do pass a basket and the money people donate is used to defray the expenses. No one is ever pressured to put something in the basket.

Unlike other groups who have frequent solicitations for funds, A.A. asks that only members contribute. Members are never required to contribute, but most give something, even if it is just the small change in their pocket.

There are no creeds to agree to. No catechisms to learn or memorize. They do read some things, but only those who want to read. There are no membership committees and no application forms to fill out.

You do not even need to be an alcoholic or agree to take the twelve steps to become a member. The twelve steps in A.A. are, like most everything else in the program, “suggestions” not requirements.

You do not need to agree to believe in a particular religion or worship any particular deity. In fact, you do not even need to believe in a God to be a member.

There is in fact only one requirement for membership in A.A.

“The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

If you can honestly say that you want to stop drinking, then you have qualified for membership.

Having become a member there is a suggestion that you get a book and read it, come to some meetings and find a sponsor to help you work your steps. None of those things are however requirements, they are suggestions.

Essentially, you are a member if you say you are a member.

With membership does come some duties. You, as a new member, will be asked to respect other member’s anonymity. You will also be asked to refrain from making public statements on behalf of A.A. Beyond that not much will be asked of you unless you chose to participate in your recovery.

All in all, A.A. is an easy group to join. So ask yourself “Do I want to stop drinking?” If so, head for a meeting because you have already qualified to become a member whether you knew it or not.

The posts I write about A.A. are from my perspective as a therapist and clinical counselor and do not necessarily reflect the views of A.A. World Services or A.A. members. For more on A.A. and their program of recovery check out the “A.A. Big Book” titled Alcoholics Anonymous at the links below or contact A.A. World Services at their website.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

The classic text on Alcoholism recovery this is the book that started off the whole 12-step phenomenon.

Alcoholics Anonymous from The Anonymous Press

One of the Kindle editions – At 99 cents this is such a bargain. This edition needed a separate listing. No Kindle reader? No Problem, if you have a computer you can download a free Kindle reader.

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

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