Our Primary Purpose
Tradition Five: Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
A.A. Primary Purpose
The primary purpose of any A.A. group is to carry the A.A. message to alcoholics. Experience with alcohol is one thing all A.A. members have in common. It is misleading to hint or give the impression that A.A. solves other problems or knows what to do about drug addiction.
Reprinted from The A.A. Group …Where It All Begins, p. 18, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
A.A. Singleness of Purpose
Our first duty, as a society, is to insure our own survival. Therefore, we have to avoid distractions and multipurpose activity. An A.A. group, as such, cannot take on all the personal problems of its members, let alone the problems of the whole world.
Sobriety – freedom from alcohol – through the teaching and practice of the Twelve Steps is the sole purpose of an A.A. group. Groups have repeatedly tried other activities, and they have always failed. It has also been learned that there is no possible way to make nonalcoholics into A.A. members. We have to confine our membership to alcoholics, and we have to confine our A.A. groups to a single purpose. If we don’t stick to these principles, we shall almost surely collapse. And if we collapse, we cannot help anyone.
Reprinted from Problems Other Than Alcohol, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
“There are those who predict that A.A. may well become a new spearhead for a spiritual awakening throughout the world. When our friends say these things, they are both generous and sincere. But we of A.A. must reflect that such a tribute and such a prophecy could well prove to be a heady drink for most of us—that is, if we really came to believe this to be the real purpose of A.A., and if we commenced to behave accordingly.
Our Society, therefore, will prudently cleave to its single purpose: the carrying of the message to the alcoholic who still suffers. Let us resist the proud assumption that since God has enabled us to do well in one area we are destined to be a channel of saving grace for everybody.”
A.A. co-founder Bill W., 1955
Reprinted from The A.A. Group …Where It All Begins, p. 7, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.