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Alcoholics Anonymous open speaker meeting in DL

Everyone is invited to an “open” meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous at First Lutheran Church (912 Lake Ave.) in Detroit Lakes.

The event will take place Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. with a potluck dinner followed at 7 p.m. by personal stories of experience, strength and hope of recovery from the disease of alcoholism and its impacts by members of AA, Al-Anon and Alateen.

Open meetings are open to alcoholics and nonalcoholics. 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, A.A. AlAnon and Alateen members “tell their stories.” They describe their experiences with alcoholism, how they find recovery in their respective programs, and how their lives have changed as a result.  This program will be of special interest to people who may have a drinking problem and for those in contact with people who have, or are suspected of having, a problem.

This meeting is sponsored by the Detroit Lakes Friday Noon Group of Alcoholics Anonymous in collaboration with the Detroit Lakes Tuesday Big Book Meeting and in cooperation with Detroit Lakes Al-Anon Family Groups.

Alateen is part of Al Anon Family Groups.  Alateen is a fellowship of young Al-Anon members, usually teenagers, whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking.  Alateen groups are sponsored by Al-Anon members who help the group to stay on track.

There is not an active Alateen program or regular Alateen meeting in the Detroit Lakes area, but it is hoped that the presentation by an Alateen member from the Brainerd area at this open meeting may provide impetus for resumption of that program here.

Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem.

Anyone may attend open A.A. meetings, but only those with a drinking problem may attend closed meetings.

A renowned psychiatrist, who served as a nonalcoholic trustee of purpose is essential to the effective treatment of alcoholism. The reason for such exaggerated focus (on alcoholism alone) is to overcome denial. The denial associated with alcoholism is cunning, baffling, and powerful and affects the patient, helper, and the community. Unless alcoholism is kept relentlessly in the foreground, other issues will usurp everybody’s attention.”

Closed AA meetings are for alcoholics or prospective A.A.s only.  (Lists of closed AA as well as Al-Anon meetings in the Detroit Lakes area will be available at this event).

A.A. members share their experience with anyone seeking help with a drinking problem; they give person-to-person service or “sponsorship” to the alcoholic coming to A.A. from any source.  The A.A. program, set forth in our Twelve Steps, offers the alcoholic a way to develop a satisfying life without alcohol and this program is discussed at closed A.A. group meetings.

There are several types of “closed” AA meetings.  “Discussion” meetings center on a topic introduced by a member volunteer who describes his or her personal experience with the application of AA steps or principals in their lives.  This is followed by the orderly volunteered sharing of other member’s personal experience on the topic.

“Step” meetings focus discussion on of one of the Twelve Steps at each meeting while “Big Book” meetings are organized around a serial reading of the book Alcoholics Anonymous.

A.A. members also take meetings into correctional and treatment facilities and 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.W.I. (Driving While Intoxicated) programs. These meetings about A.A. are not regular A.A. group meetings.

It is also important to note what A.A. does not do.  A.A. does not furnish initial motivation for alcoholics to recover, does not solicit members or engage in or sponsor research, nor does it keep attendance records or case histories.  A.A. does not join “councils” of social agencies, follow up or try to control its members and it does not make medical or psychological diagnoses or prognoses.

It does not provide detox or nursing services, hospitalization, drugs, or any medical or psychiatric treatment. AA neither offers religious services nor hosts or sponsor retreats and does not engage in education about alcohol.

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership.