ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS is a fellowship of menand women who share their experience, strengthand hope with each other that they may solvetheir common problem and help others to recov-er from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is adesire to stop drinking. There are no dues or feesfor A.A. membership; we are self-supportingthrough our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination,politics, organization or institution; does not wishto engage in any controversy; neither endorsesnor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and helpother alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
Copyright by A.A. Grapevine, Inc.;reprinted with permission
Copyright 1991 byAlcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
475 Riverside DriveNew York, NY 10115
All rights reserved.
Mail address:Box 459
Grand Central StationNew York, NY 10163
25M - 03/17 (PAH)
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Bridging the Gap
Part of Bridging the Gap between a treatmentprogram and A.A. is the Temporary ContactProgram, which is designed to help the alcoholicin an alcoholism treatment program make that transition.
As you know, one of the more slippery placesin the journey to sobriety is between the door ofthe facility and the nearest A.A. group or meeting. Some of us can tell you that, eventhough we heard of A.A. in treatment, we weretoo fearful to go.
A.A. experience suggests that attending meet-ings regularly is critical. In order to bridge thegap, A.A. members have volunteered to be tem-porary contacts and introduce newcomers toAlcoholics Anonymous.
The video Hope: Alcoholics Anonymous,shown to patients in treatment, emphasizes theimportance of having a temporary contact as theessential link between treatment and recovery.
It is suggested that the temporary contact takethe newcomer to a variety of A.A. meetings; intro-duce him or her to other A.A.s; insure that he orshe has the phone numbers of several A.A. mem-bers, and share the experience of sponsorshipand a home group.
Keep in mind that this is basic Twelfth Step work.
Experience suggests that it is best to be accom-panied by another A.A. member when meetingour newcomer. One of the two temporary contactsshould have at least a year of sobriety.
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Experience also suggests that men work withmen and women work with women.
The intent is to provide the newcomer with yourhelp for a limited time. You need not have experi-ence with treatment settings. Your qualificationsare experience as an alcoholic and recovery in A.A.
It may be helpful for you as a temporary con-tact to attend workshops on bridging the gap andattend meetings of your areas hospital and/ortreatment committees.
Remember, the goal of both A.A. and the treatment settings is the same the recovery of the alcoholic.
Be familiar with the paper Information onAlcoholics Anonymous, particularly the sectionon what A.A. does and does not do.
In all contacts or activities with treatmentsettings, it is extremely important to be punc-tual and to look your best.
Try to dothe following
Make contact with the newcomer while he orshe is still in treatment. To avoid any misunder-standings, explain clearly that this is a temporaryarrangement.
Review the many different meeting formats cover the difference between open and closedA.A. meetings and accompany the newcomer to avariety of meetings. Give the newcomer an A.A.meeting schedule.
Introduce the newcomer to A.A. Confe rence-approved books (particularly the Big Book), pam-phlets and the A.A. Grapevine.
Explain group membership and the value ofhaving a home group.
Explain sponsorship to the newcomer, refer-ring to the pamphlet Questions and Answers onSponsorship, and perhaps help the newcomerfind a sponsor.
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A.A. does not provide housing, food, clothing,jobs, money or other welfare or social services.
The professional treatment setting is in charge ofits patients or clients and is responsible for them.While we cannot compromise our A.A. Traditions,we should remember that we are there as guests ofthe facility, and must abide by its rules. We arethere to carry the A.A. message to the newcomer,and to answer any questions regarding the A.A.program of recovery and the A.A. way of life.Statements that may be interpreted as medical orpsychological diagnosis or advice on medicationshould be avoided. We are there only to share our experience of staying away from one drink,one day at a time, through the program ofAlcoholics Anonymous.
In many cases, months of hard work have goneinto establishing a relationship which enables usto be invited into a facility. A careless actioncould destroy that trust and interfere with carry-ing the message. If problems arise, inform thelocal service committee. They may wish to pre-sent an A.A. informational meeting.
No one speaks for A.A. as a whole. When wecarry the A.A. message to those in treatment, weare just one drunk talking with another. How welook, act and talk may be all they are going toknow about Alcoholics Anonymous. Since wemay be seen as part of A.A., let our new friendssee, hear and talk to a winner!
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If you would like to help. . .
If you would like to help in this very importantTwelfth Step work and have at least one year ofcontinuous sobriety in the A.A. program, pleasecomplete the following information and give it toyour groups treatment representative, generalservice representative (G.S.R.), or mail it to thechairperson of your area or district treatmentcommittee or your general service delegate. Insome areas, service committees and temporarycontact programs are organized through the localintergroup or central office. Or send it to theTreatment Desk, General Service Office, Box 459,Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163, sothat G.S.O. can forward the information to yourarea, district or other Treatment Committee.
STATE OR PROVINCE_______________________
ZIP OR MAIL CODE__________________________
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A.A. PUBLICATIONS Complete order forms available fromGeneral Service Office of ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS,Box 459, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163
BOOKS ___________________________________________________________________ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS (regular, portable, large-print and abridged pocket edi-
tions) ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS COMES OF AGETWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS
(regular, soft-cover, large-print, pocket and gift editions) EXPERIENCE, STRENGTH AND HOPEAS BILL SEES IT (regular & soft cover editions)DR. BOB AND THE GOOD OLDTIMERSPASS IT ONDAILY REFLECTIONS
BOOKLETS ___________________________________________________________________CAME TO BELIEVELIVING SOBERA.A. IN PRISON: INMATE TO INMATE
PAMPHLETS ___________________________________________________________________FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT A.A.A.A. TRADITIONHOW IT DEVELOPEDMEMBERS OF THE CLERGY ASK ABOUT A.A.THREE TALKS TO MEDICAL SOCIETIES BY BILL W.ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS AS A RESOURCE FORTHE HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL
A.A. IN YOUR COMMUNITYIS A.A. FOR YOU?IS A.A. FOR ME?THIS IS A.A.A NEWCOMER ASKSIS THERE AN ALCOHOLIC IN THE WORKPLACE?DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DIFFERENT?MANY PATHS TO SPIRITUALITYA.A. FOR THE BLACK AND AFRICAN AMERICAN ALCOHOLICQUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON SPONSORSHIPA.A. FOR THE WOMANA.A. FOR THE NATIVE NORTH AMERICANA.A. AND THE GAY/LESBIAN ALCOHOLICA.A. FOR THE OLDER ALCOHOLICNEVER TOO LATETHE JACK ALEXANDER ARTICLEYOUNG PEOPLE AND A.A.A.A. AND THE ARMED SERVICESTHE A.A. MEMBERMEDICATIONS AND OTHER DRUGSIS THERE AN ALCOHOLIC IN YOUR LIFE?INSIDE A.A.THE A.A. GROUPG.S.R.MEMO TO AN INMATETWELVE STEPS ILLUSTRATEDTHE TWELVE CONCEPTS ILLUSTRATEDTHE TWELVE TRADITIONS ILLUSTRATEDLET'S BE FRIENDLY WITH OUR FRIENDSHOW A.A. MEMBERS COOPERATEA.A. IN CORRECTIONAL FACILITIESA MESSAGE TO CORRECTIONS PROFESSIONALSA.A. IN TREATMENT SETTINGSBRIDGING THE GAPIF YOU ARE A PROFESSIONALA.A. MEMBERSHIP SURVEYA MEMBER'S-EYE VIEW OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUSPROBLEMS OTHER THAN ALCOHOLUNDERSTANDING ANONYMITYTHE CO-FOUNDERS OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUSSPEAKING AT NON-A.A. MEETINGSA BRIEF GUIDE TO A.A.A NEWCOMER ASKSWHAT HAPPENED TO JOE; IT HAPPENED TO ALICE
(Two full-color, comic-book style pamphlets)TOO YOUNG? (A cartoon pamphlet for teenagers)IT SURE BEATS SITTING IN A CELL
(An Illustrated pamphlet for inmates)
VIDEOS ___________________________________________________________A.A. VIDEOS FOR YOUNG PEOPLEHOPE: ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUSA NEW FREEDOMCARRYING THE MESSAGE BEHIND THESE WALLSYOUR A.A. GENERAL SERVICE OFFICE,THE GRAPEVINE AND THE GENERAL SERVICE STRUCTURE
PERIODICALS __________________________________________________________A.A. GRAPEVINE (monthly)LA VIA (bimonthly) JULY 11
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