March 23, 2020
The General Service Office (G.S.O.) of Alcoholics Anonymous for the U.S./Canada functions as a repository for A.A. members and groups who are looking for shared experience from the A.A. Fellowship. As the global situation related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, G.S.O. is fully committed to its role as an important resource center to help navigate this unprecedented public health emergency.
It is important to note, G.S.O. is not an authoritative body over A.A. groups, nor does it initiate rules or directives, as each A.A. group and entity is autonomous and decisions are made through an individual group conscience. Providing guidance on health issues is outside the scope of the A.A. sharing that G.S.O. offers. For anyone experiencing health and safety questions, it is suggested they contact national, state/provincial and local health authorities for appropriate information.
However, in response to the global outbreak, the office does have some general experience regarding how some A.A. groups and members have begun addressing this issue. Many are following ‘’social distancing’’ guidelines established by local, state/provincial and federal officials, while at the same time maintaining their focus on recovery and facilitating digital A.A. meetings.
By attending digital meetings, group members can focus on A.A.’s primary purpose: to carry its message of recovery to the alcoholic who still suffers. Many groups have alerted local A.A. offices or hotlines if they are temporarily not meeting in their regular physical space. Some groups have shared that they are utilizing digital platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, or conducting conference calls.
A.A. groups and members are also creating contact lists, keeping in touch by phone, email or social media. Many local A.A. central/intergroup offices and area service structures have added information to their websites about how to change a meeting format from “in-person” to a digital platform.
A.A. in the digital age has certainly taken on a new meaning in these challenging times, reminding its members and those searching for help that A.A. is not just a “place,” but exists in the hearts, minds and help offered.
Anyone who may be seeking help with a drinking problem may visit www.aa.org for information about A.A.
Options for meetings online: https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/options-for-meeting-online
For information on the A.A. Online Intergroup https://www.aa-intergroup.org/
Understanding Anonymity: https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/understanding-anonymity
What Is A.A.?
Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of people who have had a drinking problem. It is non-professional, self-supporting, all gender, multiracial and apolitical. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about their drinking problem. For additional information visit the Press/Media page at www.aa.org.