Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about recovery, the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, or Houston Intergroup Association? See the FAQ below, or call us at 713-686-6300.

Questions About Houston Intergroup

Where is the Intergroup office located?

Our office is located at 4140 Directors Row, Suite D, Houston, Texas 77092, near Dacoma and Highway 290.

What are the business hours?

We are open Monday thru Friday 8am to 5pm. Please note that our Bookstore will open on Saturdays when we are hosting a special event/workshop. In addition, we remain open late for the Delegates meeting which is held on the third (3rd) Thursday every other month (even months) till 9pm. Feel free to call our office prior to your visit at 713-686-6300.

How can I volunteer?

There are several ways to volunteer at Intergroup, in area associations, or in your home group. Click here to be taken to the Volunteer page.

I have a loved one who has a drinking problem. How can I help them?

Living with a spouse, partner or significant other who exhibits a drinking problem can have devastating effects on your emotional well-being, your personal relationships, your professional life and sometimes even your physical health. Attending Al-Anon Family Group meetings might provide the support and tools you need to deal with the effects of a loved one’s alcoholism.
If your loved one is seeking help, you can refer him or her to this website or to any AA group you know of.

You can check out Al-Anon at these links:
https://al-anon.org/newcomers/how-can-i-help-my/alcoholic-spouse-or-partner
http://www.houstonalanon.org

Questions About the Program

Am I an alcoholic?

Alcoholics Anonymous can’t tell you whether you are or not; you have to decide that for yourself. If you repeatedly drink more than you intend or want to, or if you get into trouble when you drink, you may be.

These 12 Questions might help you decide.

 

What if I am a teenager?

Nobody is too young (or too old) to have trouble with alcohol. Alcoholism is an illness that can affect anyone. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been drinking or what you drink. It’s what drinking does to you that counts. To help you decide whether you might have a problem with your own drinking, we’ve prepared these 12 questions. The answers are nobody’s business but your own.

 

What will my first meeting be like?

There is nothing to fear about meetings. People who go simply have a desire to stop drinking. They come from all walks of life and all ages. You will most likely find people there you can relate to and feel comfortable with.

In most meetings, the leader asks for anyone who is attending their first meeting to raise their hand and give their first name. When there is a newcomer, the subject is usually the First Step, which is “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.” People will most likely share their experiences of coming into the Program.

Get to the meeting early and stay after the meeting to continue to talk and share. People will offer you their phone numbers. That means they sincerely want to help you and you shouldn’t feel afraid to reach out.

 

What happens if I see someone I know in an AA meeting?

They will be there for the same reason you are there. They will not disclose your identity to outsiders. At A.A. you retain as much anonymity as you wish. That is one of the reasons we call ourselves Alcoholics Anonymous.

 

Is there a cost for the meeting?

There is no cost to attend Alcoholic Anonymous. We self-supporting through our own contributions. There will be a basket passed halfway through the meeting where most members throw in a couple of dollars to help cover expenses.

 

How long is the meeting?

Meeting typically last one hour. Most meetings/groups open the doors 15 to 30 minutes prior to the start of the meeting. It is suggested that you arrive early to participate in fellowship with other members.

 

May I bring relatives or friends to an A.A. meeting?

In most places, anyone interested in A.A., whether a member or not, is welcome at “open” meetings of A.A. groups, but not “closed” meetings. Closed meetings are limited to people who are seeking help for their own drinking problem. Newcomers, in particular, are invited to bring wives, husbands, or friends to open meetings. The Meeting Guide indicates whether every meeting is open or closed.

 

What is an “open” meeting?

An open meeting of A.A. is a group meeting that any member of the community, alcoholic or nonalcoholic, may attend. The only obligation is that of not disclosing the names of A.A. members outside the meeting. A typical open meeting will usually have a “leader” and other speakers. The leader opens and closes the meeting and introduces each speaker. With rare exceptions, the speakers at open meetings are A.A. members. Each person who speaks will generally some individual drinking experiences that led to joining A.A. The speaker may also give his or her interpretation of the recovery program and suggest what sobriety has meant personally. All views expressed are purely personal since all members of A.A. speak only for themselves. Many open meetings conclude with a social period during which coffee, soft drinks, and cakes or cookies are served.

 

What is a “closed” meeting?

A closed meeting is for A.A. members only, or for those who have a drinking problem and have a desire to stop drinking. Closed meetings give members an opportunity to discuss particular phases of their alcoholic problem that can be understood best only by other alcoholics. These meetings are usually conducted with minimal formality, and members are encouraged to participate in the discussions. The closed meetings are of particular value to the newcomer, since they provide an opportunity to benefit from the experience of members with more long-term sobriety.

 

How often do I go to AA meetings?

A.A. members don’t have to attend any set number of meetings in a given period. It is purely a matter of individual preference and need. Some members attend a meeting nearly every day, in an area such as Houston, where many meetings are available. Others commit to attend at least one meeting every week, regularly. Many know from experience that if they do not come to meetings, they may get drunk and that if they are regular in attendance, they seem to have no trouble staying sober.

Newcomers particularly seem to benefit from going to a large number of meetings, especially during their first weeks and months. By multiplying their opportunities to meet and hear other A.A.s whose drinking experience parallels their own, they strengthen their own understanding of the program and what it can give them. Nearly all alcoholics, at one time or another, have tried to stay sober on their own. For most, the experience has not been particularly enjoyable — or successful. An important line in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous reads, “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path.” That usually involves going to as many meetings as possible.

 

How do I find out about meetings in my area?

There are A.A. meetings all over the city, state, country and world. We have over 2,400 meetings a week in the greater Houston area. Houston Intergroup Association publishes an online meeting directory with a schedule of meetings, times and locations. The meeting directory is also available as a smartphone App called Meeting Guide, which you can download from the App store. A printed directory is also available at most groups, clubs, and at the Intergroup Bookstore. If you don’t feel comfortable at one group, go to another. There are plenty from which to choose.

 

Does A.A. have a basic “textbook”?

The Fellowship has several books that are generally accepted as “textbooks.”

  • Our main text is Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as “the Big Book.” It was originally published in 1939 and was revised as recently as 2001. This book serves as a basic text and guide for our program. From it you will learn “precisely how we have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.” This book, as well as other A.A. literature, is sold at a nominal price at many groups, and clubs, and at the Intergroup Bookstore. Many of the phrases used in meetings are found in this book. It is suggested that all alcoholics get this book.
  • The second book is Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, published in 1953. It is an interpretation by Bill W., a co-founder, of the principles that have thus far assured the continuing survival of individuals and groups within A.A.
  • There are other complimentary books to recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous, including Daily Reflections, a compilation of spiritual reflections contributed by members; and written by one of A.A.’s co-founders.
  • These and more excellent books may be purchased through Houston Intergroup located at 4140 Directors Row, Houston, TX77092 or online at www.aa.houston.org.
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