- Think you have a drinking problem?
- Here to help someone else?
- Information for Professionals
Alcoholism is an illness that affects men and women of all ages, backgrounds and walks of life. To us, it doesn’t matter how much, where, or what you drink. What matters is how alcohol affects you.
If your life seems to be going nowhere, or it feels out of control and you think drinking might have something to do with it, it usually does. You know this from your gut—whether you feel guilty, lonely, ashamed, or whether alcohol is interfering in your life.
Do you think you have a drinking problem? We believe you are the best person to answer that. We’ve prepared a pamphlet with 12 questions to help you decide. The answers are nobody’s but your own.
Our first step was to admit we had a drinking problem; alcohol had made our lives unmanageable. Often as a last resort, we came to AA. Here we found a common solution.
Ultimately, we came to believe we couldn't solve our problem alone. We needed help and a community of support. If you have come to the same conclusion, congratulations! You have just taken your first steps on the road to recovery.
If drinking is causing you trouble, and you want to stop but can’t seem to do it on your own, give Alcoholics Anonymous a try—try going to meetings for 90 days, and if your life doesn’t get better, at least you’ll better understand your options.
Many people contact us looking to help a parent or child, a spouse or partner, someone they work with, or a close friend. Alcoholism often affects others around us. We know it can be distressing to see our loved ones trapped in their disease, and we often feel powerless to help.
Another organization is Al-Anon & Alateen Family Groups. They provide support for family and friends of alcoholics. Their local website is https://www.al-anon-ottawa.ca.
While we do cooperate to help the still suffering alcoholic, AA is not directly affiliated with Al-Anon & Alateen Family Groups (AFG)
Professionals who work with alcoholics share a common purpose with Alcoholics Anonymous: to help the alcoholic stop drinking and lead a healthy, productive life. We can serve as a source of personal experience with alcoholism and as an ongoing support system for recovering alcoholics.
If you would like more information about our services in the National Capital Region, please see Cooperation with the Professional Community and Correctional Facilities and Treatment on the District Committees page.
Here are a few more suggestions on what to do next:
Learn about the AA Program of Recovery
First you may wish to read more about AA. Click on the links below to view some pamphlets produced by our General Service Office. Hard copies are also available for free at in-person meetings.
There are many more pamphlets available on specific topics. You can browse through them at www.aa.org.
Contact Support in Ottawa
If you still have questions you can call our helpline at 613.237.6000. It’s open between 10AM and 10PM, 7 days a week (subject to volunteer availability).
Attend a Meeting
We have several hundred AA meetings a week in Ottawa and surrounding regions. Check out our online meeting list for days and times.
There is no cost, there is no registration, and it’s completely anonymous. Members become members when they say they are. There is nothing more required other than showing up!
There are many meeting formats but the most important thing to know at the beginning are the two main types:
Open Meetings – These are normally speaker meetings where a member shares what life was like when they were drinking, how they came to discover AA, and how AA has helped them stay sober. These meetings are open to the general public, and are a good option if newcomers want to bring a family member or friend for moral support.
Closed Meetings – These are normally topic discussions. Members meet and share about their struggles and how AA helps them to stay sober one day at a time. Participants don’t have to talk if they don’t want to. These meetings are more intimate, and provide a safe environment to open up. Therefore, they are limited to AA members and those who think they have a drinking problem.
No matter what type of meeting is chosen, members are willing to help newcomers get started. Don’t be shy to ask for phone numbers as the first step toward building a support system.
The most important thing is to keep coming back. If your first meeting doesn’t suit you, try another. Keep getting phone numbers. Use them. Soon you will discover a group where you feel comfortable, and be surrounded by people who freely offer you support on your journey of recovery.