Here we have listed several questions we get asked fairly often, along with our answers. If you have other questions you don’t see here, feel free to call or email one of us (see the contact info page), or list the question in a comment below, and hopefully we’ll get it answered for you.
What do I have to do to join SAA?
Just come to one of our meetings. You can introduce yourself by your first name. Decide if our program seems like it could be helpful to you. We recommend you come to 5 or 6 meetings, trying more than one location as the groups vary and one might fit you better than another. We do not have any type of membership application, registration, fees, or dues. Most 12-Step groups are very informal.
What happens in the meetings?
Our meetings last for an hour. A few are 90 minutes. If you need to arrive late, don’t worry! Just come on in! After some introductory statements, most groups ask if anyone wants to share. Larger groups limit shares to a few minutes. Members share about their own experience. We try to avoid correcting others and avoid giving advice. There is no expectation or requirement to share. If you share at your first meeting, know we avoid stating specific details such as names, places, web sites. At the end their might be announcements and some closing statements. Before or after the meeting there is time to ask questions.
If you arrive on the day there is a business meeting, some time during the meeting or after the meeting might be spent discussing any issues that have come up that need to be discussed or settled.
Most meetings pass around a basket or something for donations. Some people donate a dollar or nothing. It is never expected. Please do not donate if you are new. Money is used to pay rent, purchase literature and other program purposes.
At least one meeting has a quiet study time for 30 minutes before the meeting.
Some groups provide time for a member to share their story for a longer period.
If you need to leave early, feel free to do so.
Do I need to bring anything with me?
How large are the meetings?
6 to 35 attendees
What religious or spiritual beliefs are expected?
We expect newcomers may be uncertain about this. The word “God” appears in the steps. Please be certain you can have and keep any belief that works for you. The primary purpose is recovery and the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop our own compulsive behavior.
Are there any women at the meetings?
Not often enough. If you are a woman and not comfortable where mostly men are attending, review the page for women. We want to help you meet other women to work with. We do welcome women to all the “mixed” meetings, we have a couple local contacts and there is a women’s meeting up in Orange County. Some in the county would like to offer support to a women’s meeting in the county, so please start one because it is needed. Note that the national convention and in the committees that service SAA, there is a very high percentage of female members.
Are teens allowed to attend?
It is up the the group if they welcome people under 18. The topics and language can be very mature. Since groups are autonomous, we can not dictate their rules.