Your counselor, doctor, or treatment center may refer you to a specific AA contact or group. If not, there are several ways to find a meeting.
- Search online for Alcoholics Anonymous (or Narcotics Anonymous, etc.) plus your town. Many local groups list meetings online. If you don’t have a computer at home, try a library. Most have computers you can use for free.
- If you don’t find local lists of meetings, start at the meeting pages listed below and drill down to find resources near you. Some list meetings around the world, others have links to local listings; some also have phone lines dedicated to meeting information. Some of these sites are also available in Spanish, French, and other languages.
- Alcoholics Anonymous: http://www.aa.org/lang/en/central_offices.cfm?origpage=373
- AA outside the U.S.: http://www.aa.org/lang/en/aa_international.cfm?origpage=31
- Al-Anon: http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/meetings/meeting.html
- Cocaine Anonymous: http://www.ca.org/phones.html
- Crystal Meth Anonymous: http://www.crystalmeth.org/cma-meeting-directory.html
- Marijuana Anonymous: http://www.marijuana-anonymous.org/meetings/in-person
- Narcotics Anonymous: http://www.naws.org/meetingsearch/
- Ask friends for groups near you. Chances are you know someone who is in AA or Al-Anon. If not, some in your circle of friends probably do. Due to the anonymous nature of the group, it is not cool to pass around the names of folks in the fellowship, but your friends can ask for information on your behalf, or pass your phone number on to someone who is a member.
- Check a print phone directory for a local Alcoholics Anonymous number or other fellowships (libraries still carry phone books.) If you don’t find a number for a local fellowship, look for “addiction services,” “mental health resources,” or a city or county health agency. The people there can often refer you to local AA groups.
- Call a local treatment center, or ask a librarian.
Online and Phone Meetings
If you can get to in-person meetings, they are usually your best option. There is no substitute for sharing in person with others, talking one-on-one with other alcoholics. There’s nothing like having a cup of coffee after the meeting with someone who will listen and give you guidance, or sharing a laugh and a hug with a new friend who truly understands where you’ve been.
Of course, an in-person meeting is not always convenient or available just when you need it. When that’s the case, a phone or online meeting or discussion forum might help. These options can also be helpful for those who have hearing problems or mobility issues, have no child care, or live far away from in-person meetings. They can also be a lifesaver on those nights when you wake up at 3 am with a craving and no one to talk to. They are also a great way to test the waters.
- Alcoholics Anonymous online meetings (and other formats, including email, texting, online chat, audio, phone, and video chat): http://aa-intergroup.org. That site also lists meetings in several languages as well as some for women only, men only, LGBT folks, and other communities.
- Narcotics Anonymous online and phone meetings: http://portaltools.na.org/portaltools/MeetingLoc/index.cfm (enter web or phone in the country field).
- Cocaine Anonymous online meetings: http://www.ca-online.org/meetings/.
- Marijuana Anonymous online meetings: http://www.ma-online.org/; phone meetings: http://www.marijuana-anonymous.org/meetings/phone-meetings.
Other Meeting and Discussion Sites
There are also many online discussion forums for alcoholic, addicts, and their loved ones that are not affiliated with the above groups. Some run meetings, some have other discussion formats. Some also have recordings of meetings and other resources. Some options: