Following is the definition of A.A. appearing in the Fellowship's basic literature and cited frequently at meetings of A.A. groups:
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 A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. 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 is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
Copyright © by the A.A. Grapevine, Inc.; reprinted with permission.
Alcoholics Anonymous can also be defined as an informal society of more than 2,000,000 recovered alcoholics in Europe, the United States, Canada, and other countries. These men and women meet in local groups, which range in size from a handful in some localities to many hundreds in larger communities.
Currently, women make up 35 percent of the total membership.