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Cooperation with Professionals

A.A. Wants to Work With You

Cooperation with the professional community is an objective of A.A., and has been since our beginnings. We are always seeking to strengthen and expand our communication with you, and we welcome your comments and suggestions. They help us to work more effectively with you in achieving our common purpose: to help the alcoholic who still suffers.

A Resource for the Helping Professional

Professionals who work with alcoholics share a common purpose with Alcoholics Anonymous: to help the alcoholic stop drinking and lead a healthy, productive life.

Alcoholics Anonymous is a nonprofit, self-supporting, entirely independent fellowship— “not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution.” Yet A.A. is in a position to serve as a resource to you through its policy of “cooperation but not affiliation” with the professional community.

We can serve as a source of personal experience with alcoholism and as an ongoing support system for recovering alcoholics.

How the Program Works

A.A.’s primary purpose, as stated in our Preamble, is: “ stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.” The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. Members share their experiences in recovery from alcoholism on a one-to-one basis, and introduce the newcomer to A.A.’s Twelve Steps of personal recovery and its Twelve Traditions that sustain the Fellowship itself.

Meetings. At the heart of the program are its meetings, which are conducted autonomously by A.A. groups in cities and towns throughout the world. Anyone may attend open meetings of A.A. These usually consist of talks by one or more speakers who share impressions of their past illness and their present recovery in A.A. Some open meetings — to which helping professionals, the media and others are invited — are held for the specific purpose of informing the nonalcoholic (and possibly alcoholic) public about A.A. Closed meetings are for alcoholics only. Alcoholics recovering in A.A. generally attend several meetings each week.

Anonymity. Anonymity helps the Fellowship to govern itself by principles rather than personalities; by attraction rather than promotion. We openly share our program of recovery, but not the names of the individuals in it.

How to Make Referrals to A.A.

Alcoholics Anonymous in Ottawa can be reached through our general information email at, where your request will be forwarded to the appropriate resource. We may also be reached at 613.237.6000. (Some professionals ask the person they are referring to call the local A.A. number while still in the office, thus offering an immediate opportunity to reach out for help).

Cooperation with Professional Community Committee

Our local CPC committee welcomes requests from professionals. Here are some ways we can help:

  • Provide speakers for information sessions on A.A.
  • Meet informally with groups of professionals
  • Provide literature and audio/visual materials to professional staff
  • Provide literature and audio/visual materials for patients/clients
  • Provide a link to A.A. groups in the community for patients/clients
  • Attend open AA meetings or local events with professionals

To contact the CPC committee directly, please email

More Resources for Professionals: