So You’ve Been Told to Go to A.A. And You Hate the Idea . . .

You’re not alone and you’re not the first. Don’t worry… It’s not that bad
If a judge, school, or employer has sent you to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, it is because they believe there is evidence that you may have a drinking problem. We had nothing to do with their decision. This pamphlet was written to shed light on A.A. for those who don’t know anything about our fellowship or what to expect when they go to a meeting.

You don’t have to give your name
At A.A. meetings, we don’t require that you give your name. You will hear A.A. members introduce themselves, but that is their choice. You don’t have to give your name in return. No one keeps attendance records. If a court or driving program wants you to have a card signed, most secretaries of “OPEN” meetings will do this for you and probably will not even notice your name.

You don’t have to speak
Many members will share, but no one will think it is strange if you remain silent. In fact, if you do not have a desire to stop drinking, most meetings prefer that you don’t share. Discussion is to be confined to problems with alcohol and how we might overcome them.

No one should ask why you are there
At open A.A. meetings, it is not uncommon to see non-alcoholics, like family, friends, spouses, students and other visitors like yourself. Why you are there is nobody’s business but your own.

There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership or to attend meetings
During the meeting, a basket is passed to pay the cost of renting the room, the coffee and other necessary expenses. This is called the 7th Tradition, but there is no obligation to contribute. As a welcome guest, most meetings prefer you only put your “court card” in the basket.

No one will tell anyone you were here
There is an unwritten rule about A.A. meetings that “Whatever you see here, hear here or say here, stays here.” That is the anonymity part of the A.A. program.

It is NOT a religious program
Most members have a program based on a belief in a Higher Power of their own understanding but there is no religious affiliation.

Meetings are not what you might expect
You won’t find a bunch of derelicts or religious fanatics. You will probably find a cross section of friendly, sober people enjoying life. The meetings are short, usually an hour or an hour and a half. They are easy to find online at or in our printed directory. In Orange County, we have meetings morning, noon & evenings, every day of the week in almost every area.

Take a look at the meeting list
You will see all the days, times and places where meetings are held. The meetings marked (O) are open meetings you can attend. Meetings marked with a (C) are closed meetings for alcoholics only.

Still have questions???
Please feel free to give us a call at 714-556-4555 or in South County at 949-582-2697. One of our volunteers will be happy to speak with you 24/7.

Orange County Central Office
1526 Brookhollow Dr., Suite 75
Santa Ana, CA 92705