Whether you have had a long-term history with alcoholics anonymous meetings or you want to visit your first one, finding a meeting in a new city can be a daunting thing. One of the comforts of the Alcoholics Anonymous program is that only first names are used, and you are not supposed to announce that others are alcoholics. If your job requires privacy about your past, then this is a great way to get it. However, it makes it hard to find people that might be going to the meetings, as they aren't going to announce that they are alcoholics or that they go to regular AA meetings. Instead, you need to be a little bit more proactive. Here are some ways to find a meeting in your area:
Alcoholics Anonymous has its own website. Within that website is a link to local meeting locations, times, and dates. There are pros and cons to this approach. If you share a computer, or the screen is in a location where others see or monitor (like a work computer), you may not feel comfortable accessing the information online. Also, if there are last minute meeting changes in location or time, not all websites are regularly updated. However, if you have your own smartphone or computer, it is a quiet, private way to see where to find local meetings, and a great way when you are traveling to find an out-of-town meeting without a lot of calling around.
If you don't have the internet, or you choose not to use it for a search, another choice is to call local addiction counselors in your area. Their offices will have a list of addiction services in the area, and can guide you to the best place to find a meeting that meets your time and location needs. One additional advantage of calling here is that they may have news about other services that you were unaware of, like addiction retreats and employers who are sympathetic to the needs of a recently recovering alcoholic.
Churches and Synagogues
If you attend a church or synagogue, this is also an excellent way to find local meetings in your area. You can discreetly speak with your pastor, rabbi or priest about the locations and dates of meetings in your area. Often, churches will host AA meetings in their buildings, so they are most likely to know when there is a change in schedule that needs to happen last minute. An added advantage of seeking an AA meeting from your house of worship is that the priest, pastor or rabbi probably has a good idea of who else in your house of worship is also struggling with addiction, and can offer to help you find a sponsor who shares your faith.