Types of Meetings Explained

During meetings, A.A. members share their experiences with anyone seeking help with a drinking problem; they give personal service or “sponsorship” to the alcoholic coming from ay source. The A.A. program, as outlines in our Twelve Steps, offers the alcoholic a way to develop a satisfying life without alcohol.

  • 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, one or two 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 and working the program. 
  • 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. Non-alcoholics may attend but not share.
  • Closed discussion meetings — conducted just as open discussions are, but only alcoholics or prospective alcoholics can attend.
  • Step meetings (usually closed) — discussion of the Twelve Steps or Twelve Traditions.
  • Treatment/Correctional Facilities -– meetings may also be taken into correctional and treatment facilities by A.A. members.
  • Informational Meetings -– A.A. members may be asked to conduct the informational meetings about A.A. as a part of A.S.A.P. (Alcohol Safety Action Project) and D.U.I. (Driving Under the Influence) programs. These meetings about A.A. are not regular A.A. group meetings.