Anyone who is familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) knows that they have a 12-step program which facilitates the sobriety of members. As individuals successfully move through each step, they are likely to find the strength to quit drinking. In addition to the 12-steps, AA also has a set of twelve traditions. This article will explore these traditions as they relate to recovery.
Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity. Without the group, individual members will not have an environment in which they can explore their recovery and heal. The community of AA must be preserved.
For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern. A higher power guides the AA community.
The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking. AA is open to anyone who would like to join.
Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole. Local AA groups have their own power and autonomy.
Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers. The task of an AA community is clear – provide support to those who are still addicted.
An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose. An AA group is not a means for marketing or financial support.
Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions. Local AA groups need to sustain themselves.
Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers. AA does not employ professional staff, except for its service centers.
A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve. It is not AA’s intention to organize as a corporation or a nonprofit organization. Instead, AA members can gather together as a community in order to provide support to those they serve.
Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy. AA does not get involved in the many issues surrounding addiction and recovery. It keeps itself free of controversy and outside opinion.
Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films. The way AA becomes known among the general public is through word of mouth and the shared experiences of members. There is no advertising of its services.
Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities. The foundation of the AA community is made up of principles. There is no straying from these principles.
Anyone involved in the AA community might enjoy learning about these traditions. In fact, it might give them a feeling of being held within a strong community based upon faith, service, and truth.
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