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.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. Below are some links to pamphlets produced by our General Service Office. Hard copies are also available for free at meetings.
Contact Support in Ottawa
If you still have questions, perhaps relating to your specific situation, 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 Local Meeting
We have several hundred AA meetings a week in Ottawa and the surrounding regions of Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. Their locations and times are included in our online meeting list. If you think you have a drinking problem, you can go to any of these at anytime. There is no cost, there is no registration, and it's completely anonymous. You become a member when you say you are. All you have to do is show up!
The meeting list includes English, French, Spanish and Russian meetings. You will notice there are different meeting types. Don't worry about that for now. There are only two types to know before you go:
Open speaker meetings (OS) are when 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 you want to bring a family member or friend for moral support.
Closed discussion meetings (CD) are when we sit together as a group and share about our struggles and how AA helps us to stay sober one day at a time. You don't have to talk if you 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 you attend, you will likely be approached by some members who will help you get started. Don’t be shy to ask for phone numbers, most of us are glad to give them. That way, if you feel triggered, you can pick up a phone rather than a drink. If no one approaches you, see the chairperson at the end of meeting and mention you are new.
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.
Meet us in Person
We know it can be intimidating to go to an AA meeting for the first time. If you plan to go to an open speaker meeting (OS), you are welcome to bring a family member or friend for support.
If this is not possible, if you prefer to attend a closed discussion meeting (CD), or want to ask some questions first, we can arrange to have two AA members meet you in advance. They will respond to your questions, and if you are still interested, accompany you to a meeting. If this interests you, please contact us with where you are approximately in the city or region, along with a phone number to call or text you.