How to Find an AA Meeting
It has never been easier to find a local AA meeting thanks to today’s technology. AA meetings are popular and help augment the support addicts receive at an outpatient support program. For those wondering how to find an AA meeting, here are some of our favorite resources. As you can imagine, the first place you’ll search “how to find an AA meeting” is on the internet. If you don’t have access to a computer, chances are pretty good that you have a smart phone. Most local libraries have computers you can use for free if you don’t have access to either. So where do you begin once you’re online? It helps to know what type of meeting you’re looking for as there are several options.
If you’re wondering how to find an AA meeting that’s held in-person, there are quite a few options available to you. Here are a few ways to find local AA meetings:
- Search online for “Alcoholics Anonymous” (or Narcotics Anonymous, etc.) plus your town. Many local groups list meetings online.
- If you still don’t find local AA meetings, refer to 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; others have phone lines dedicated to meeting information. In many cases, 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/
- Talk to friends or get involved with groups near you. Chances are that someone who is in AA or Al-Anon will be closer than you think. If not, there’s likely someone in your circle of friends that knows more.
- Check Yelp or even the Yellow pages (which is also available online, but printed versions are available at libraries.
- Widen your search using broader search times like “addiction services,” “mental health resources,” or a city or county health agency. The people there can often refer you to local AA meetings and groups.
Online and Phone Meetings
If you can get to in-person, local AA meetings, they are usually your best option. It’s hard to beat that one-on-one conversation with other alcoholics. When you can’t find an AA meeting at the exact moment you need one, the guidance and compassion of a new friend who truly understands where you’ve been is priceless. Of course, an in-person meeting is not always convenient or available just when you need it. If you can’t figure out how to find an AA meeting that’s held locally and conveniently, 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. Here are some online resources to help you find an online AA meeting:
- 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.
There’s an App for that
For those who have fully embraced new technology, it should come as no surprise to you that there is a specific mobile app that provides a great, nationwide directory of local AA meetings. In fact, there’s probably no easier way to find a local AA meeting. It’s called “Meeting Guide” and it’s available for both iPhone and Android devices. It sorts by city, date, and available meeting times among other things. It also shows how close you are to any particular meeting location. Better yet, the app is free.
Do a Little Self-Assessment
It helps if you take a moment to assess the urgency of your need for support. Sometimes, the best you can hope for is a phone meeting if the matter is more urgent.
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 live meetings, some have other discussion formats. Some also have recordings of meetings and other resources. TDRC’s support system includes meetings and support groups. We find these critical to the success of our residents. If you don’t know how to find an AA meeting using the above steps, we’re more than happy to help. The reality is that an addict’s thinking can be self-sabotaging. There can be bouts of denial during which the addict might begin to think that they don’t have the disease, or that they no longer need to attend local AA meetings. Sometimes, addicts will use excuses like they don’t have free time, or now they have a special partner in their life. Perhaps they’ve even achieved some other personal or professional success that gives them the illusion that they’re not addicts. Nothing is more important than treating addiction. It’s a lifelong battle that requires vigilance and the support of a good network. We’re here to help you through the recovery journey—just like AA, we’re available 24/7.