Is Alcoholics Anonymous Free?

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who have a desire to stop drinking. This program is based on the 12 steps and 12 traditions outlined by the founders of this program in the original text: The Big Book. The founding principles put a great focus on anonymity and accessibility. In order to make AA meetings and the 12 step accessible, the program is virtually free. You cannot be required to pay to attend a meeting and there are ways to get the books and pamphlets for free. So is Alcoholics Anonymous free? The short answer is yes.

How is AA Funded?

Members of AA gather in physical locations, provide free coffee and snacks, and review the text the program was created around. How can Alcoholics Anonymous be free when it requires meeting space, snacks, and books – things that cost money? In addition to that, the 7th tradition states that these groups “ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.” So how in the heck do they pay for things? It all comes down to contributions from members within the organization. While not every member will have the means to contribute, those who do are encouraged to do so. 

The 1st tradition mentions unity and the 5th tradition says to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers. One way to carry out these traditions is for each member to donate what they can to keep the meetings going. By keeping the meetings going, they are maintaining a space to gather together (unity) and for new members to seek help through AA (carry its message). Carrying the message of AA is also a part of the 12th step.

Getting Materials for Free

From pamphlets to books, there is a lot of AA literature out there and getting them printed is not free. However, the fellowship does everything in its power to make the materials affordable or even free to its members. Here are some ways

  • AA is not setting out to make a profit, therefore if you do set out to buy new materials you can still get them at an affordable price. 
  • You can read an AA book anywhere you go as they are available as eBooks for just a few dollars.
  • When it comes to books, pamphlets, or any AA literature, members are encouraged to pass their literature on to someone else in need once they are done. When books are passed down, it allows those without extra money to gain insight into the program. This is just one way in which they can make the program more accessible and carry on the message of AA. 

Find an AA Meeting & Get Started for Free

AA meetings are free to attend throughout the country. This means you can begin your recovery journey and get support for zero dollars. There is no excuse to wait another day. Find an AA Meeting Near you.

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