Alcoholic Anonymous Inter-group to celebrate 20th Anniversary
Mangaluru: Addressing the media persons during the press meet held at Mangalore Press Club, Rohan Colaco- ‘A’ Class Trustee GSB-AA India said, “A.A. (Alcoholic Anonymous) was started in Mangaluru in 1958 and in 1996 inter-group was formed consisting of more than 30 groups of Mangaluru. Only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking. This Inter-group is Celebrating its 20th anniversary at St. Sebastian Church hall, Bendore here on 2nd October 2016 from 9.30 am to 3.00 pm. The chief guest of this program will be Arun Chakravarthi, (IGP, Western Range) and myself. People not only from Mangalore and Dakashina Kannada but also from Udupi, Chikmagalur, Shivamogga, Bangalore, Hassan, Davangere, Mysore, Kerala, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are attending this program.
He further said, “Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women 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 AA Membership: we are self-supporting through our own contributions. AA 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 us to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.”
“Alcoholism is not a disgrace, it’s a fatal disease. Are you surprised ? Till date if we see a person drinking uncontrollably, we only think this person is irresponsible, with less will power and of low morals. Alcoholism or habitual drinking is an illness. WHO, IMA, American Medical Association and British Medical Council today have recognized alcoholism as progressive, incurable, life threatening disease. Person afflicted with this illness has but two alternatives – either succumb to premature death or keep away from drinks totally. The Main Symptoms are – ; Repeated failures in controlling amount of drinks; Getting irritated when one’s alcoholism is discussed; Remorsefulness after drinking; Necessity of Chaser (Drink in the morning); Obsession at particular time in a day; Tremors; and Blackouts” added Colaco.
Rohan Colaco also said, “Although the strength of our program lies in the voluntary nature of membership in A.A., many of us first attended meetings because we were forced to, either by someone else or by inner discomfort. But continual exposure to A.A. educated us to the true nature of the illness…. Who made the referral to A.A. is not what A.A. is interested in. It is the problem drinker who is our concern…. We cannot predict who will recover, nor have we the authority to decide how recovery should be sought by any other alcoholic.”
Alcoholics Anonymous popularly known as A.A is world-wide fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other to achieve sobriety and help others to do the same; free of cost. A.A is not allied with no body but co-operates with all working in the field of Alcoholism. A.A is self-supporting through voluntary contributions of members and politely declines any financial help from other agencies.The sole purpose of A.A is to stay sober and help others to achieve sobriety. The family of Alcoholic is equally affected by the Alcoholism of the Alcoholic. Al-anon is a fellowship for the families of alcoholics where they all meet and share their strength and hope. Both A.A and Al-anon practice the principle of Anonymity.
Founded way back in 1935 in U.S.A, now Alcoholic Anonymous is functioning in more than 184 countries with the estimated strength of 3.0 million sober alcoholic’s worldwide. In India 30,000 members are happily living their lives without consuming alcohol with the help of 900 groups. AA group started in Mumbai since 1957 due to the efforts of late Harry M., a night school teacher, who interacted with Charley M. a Canadian embassy staff member in New Delhi.
What Is A.A.? Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women 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. Some professionals refer to alcoholism and drug addiction as “substance abuse” or “chemical dependency.” Non-alcoholics are, therefore, sometimes introduced to A.A. and encouraged to attend A.A. meetings. Non-alcoholics may attend open A.A. meetings as observers, but only those with a drinking problem may attend closed A.A. meetings.
What Does A.A. Do? A.A. members share their experience with anyone seeking help with a drinking problem; they give person-to-person service or “sponsorship” to the alcoholic coming to A.A. from any source; The A.A. program, set forth in our Twelve Steps, offers the alcoholic a way to develop a satisfying life without alcohol; This program is discussed at A.A. group meetings; Open speaker meetings — open to alcoholics and non-alcoholics. (Attendance at an open A.A. meeting is the best way to learn what A.A. is, what it does, and what it does not do.) At speaker meetings, A.A. members “tell their stories.”. ; They describe their experiences with alcohol, how they came to A.A., and how their lives have changed as a result of Alcoholics Anonymous; Open discussion meetings — one member speaks briefly about his or her drinking experience, and then leads a discussion on A.A. recovery or any drinking-related problem anyone brings up. (Closed meetings are for A.A.s or anyone who may have a drinking problem.); Closed discussion meetings — conducted just as open discussions are, but for alcoholics or prospective A.A.s only; Step meetings (usually closed) — discussion of one of the Twelve Steps; A.A. members may be asked to conduct the informational meetings into correctional and treatment facilities. These meetings about A.A. are not regular A.A. group meetings.
What A.A. Does Not Do? A.A. does not: Furnish initial motivation for alcoholics to recover; Solicit members; Engage in or sponsor research; Keep attendance records or case histories; Join “councils” of social agencies (although A.A. members, groups and service offices frequently cooperate with them); Follow up or try to control its members; Make medical or psychological diagnoses or prognoses; Provide detox or nursing services, hospitalization, drugs, or any medical or psychiatric treatment; Offer religious services or host/sponsor retreats; Engage in education about alcohol; Provide housing, food, clothing, jobs, money, or any other welfare or social services; Provide domestic or vocational counseling; Accept any money for its services, or any contributions from non-A.A. sources; Provide letters of reference to parole boards, lawyers, court officials, social agencies employers, etc.