Meetings are the mainstay of Alcoholics
Anonymous. There are over 600 meetings weekly in Pinellas County.
(Click here for links to meetings by area, day
and name.) A chairperson, who is usually a member of the group, will
open the meeting and follow the format for the type of meeting it is --
discussion, etc. If the chairperson asks if there
are any newcomers, feel free to raise your hand and give your first name.
This way, people will know you're new and will be able to help you even
When you walk into your first meeting, you'll
see groups of people standing around, drinking coffee and talking and
laughing with each other. Don't worry -- you're not in the wrong place! AA
has changed millions of people's lives and it can change yours, too.
OPEN MEETINGS: As the term suggests,
meetings of this type are open to alcoholics, non-alcoholics, and to anyone
interested in solving a personal drinking problem or helping someone else to
solve such a problem. Beginners meetings are usually open, so a newcomer can
bring a non-alcoholic friend or spouse for support.
CLOSED MEETINGS: These meetings are
limited to alcoholics. They provide an opportunity for members to share with
one another on problems related to drinking patterns and attempts to achieve
stable sobriety. They also permit detailed discussion of various elements in
the recovery program.
BEGINNERS MEETING: These meetings are geared to
newcomers -- usually people with less than one year of sobriety. A topic
will be suggested by a chairperson and then members who want to, can share
their experience, strength and hope about the topic. In this way,
beginners will start to understand the program of Alcoholics Anonymous
and how they can stop drinking, one day at a time.
One or two members of AA will "tell their story" -- what it was like,
what happened, and what it's like now. Newcomers are urged NOT to compare,
but to relate to the speaker's experiences. Remember, we're all here for the
same reason -- to stay sober, one day at a time.
A topic will be suggested by a chairperson and then members who want to, can
share their experience, strength and hope about the topic. Newcomers
are urged NOT to compare, but to relate to each member's experiences.
Remember, we're all here for the same reason -- to stay sober, one day at a