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Where Are AA Meetings Held?
Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are available all over the world, literally. AA meetings take place in more than 170 countries, and the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, has been translated into more than 90 languages.
AA meetings in Paris, France or Johannesburg, South Africa are essentially the same as AA meetings in San Diego. They all carry the same message in the same way: One drunk helping another stay sober using the 12-steps as a guide for personal recovery and the 12-traditions as a guide for healthy AA groups.
And it works, with over 2.1 million members worldwide as of 2013 as evidence.
Members of Alcoholics Anonymous are especially fortunate in San Diego, and not just because we have endless sunshine, the best beaches, and a high quality of life. San Diego is home to one of the world’s great recovery communities.
Thousands of Meetings in San Diego
There are well over 1,000 (Yes, one-thousand) meetings every week in San Diego County. The first meeting of the day begins at 5 am, and the last starts at midnight, every day of the week.
AA in San Diego are broken into two districts: Central Area and North County. Each of these districts has a full directory of AA meetings in each area—from the border to Orange County, from the ocean to the desert.
From Beaches to Coffee Shops
In San Diego, you can be sure to find AA meetings held almost anywhere. Because the sun always shines in Southern California, options for meetings break through walls.
Places of Worship
Many AA meetings are held in church buildings, auxiliary rooms, or worship rooms. For people new to the rooms of AA, this can feel uncomfortable or even weird at first. But AA’s traditions ensure that there is no affiliation to any religion, denomination, etc.
AA groups hold meetings at churches because many of these places and organizations charge low weekly or monthly rents to groups to use the rooms. No matter where a meeting is, only members of alcoholics anonymous participate and lead the meetings.
Alano Clubs are typically non-profit community organizations that specialize in providing support for sober and recovery communities. Many Alano Clubs host several different types of 12-step program meetings, ranging from AA, NA, Alanon, Overeaters Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, and many more. It is important to understand that Alano Clubs have no affiliation or connection with Alcoholics Anonymous or any other 12-step program; they merely rent space out for AA to hold meetings.
There are many Alano Clubs throughout all of San Diego County. Whether you are just a few days sober or just moved to San Diego and are looking to click into San Diego’s recovery community, Alano Clubs are useful resources for building a supportive network in sobriety.
Parks and Beaches
What goes better with AA than coffee and doughnuts? Serenity-filled sunbaths and breaths of fresh air. San Diego boasts many AA meetings that are held outside year-round. Typically, they are noon or early afternoon meetings, but there are a few bonfire meetings on the beach.
Warning: If you want to go to a meeting on the beach, be prepared to get there early and leave late; these meetings take fellowship to the highest level of fun mixed with serious recovery.
Rehabs, Treatments, and Hospitals
Alcoholics Anonymous began with one alcoholic, Bill W., helping other alcoholics. Today, AA is still based on this same principle. Back in 1935, members of alcoholics would meet with persons in “sanitariums,” and carry the message.
Meetings in San Diego carry on this tradition. Many meetings are held in auxiliary rooms of hospitals, detoxes, recovery homes, and sober livings. Again, AA is not affiliated and does not endorse any treatment programs, companies, or hospitals. However, AA does cooperate with places and organizations where AA can carry the message.
Jails and Prisons
Sometimes, alcoholics have gotten in trouble with the law. That’s why many AA groups and members give a lot of their time and energy to taking meetings into the local jails and prisons. As part of special committees of Alcoholics Anonymous, H&I committees provide AA members the opportunity to carry the message to alcoholics who suffer in hospitals and institutions. There are strict guidelines and requirements for a member to be able to enter one of these institutions for everyone’s safety.