We do not...
•    engage in cross-talk
•    criticize
•    comment on what others say
•    offer advice
•    distract others from the person speaking by word, whisper, gesture, noise, or movement
•    violate the anonymity of others
•    repeat what is said in meetings (in any context)
•    Act out (inappropriately)


No dues or fees are required for membership; we are fully self-supporting through our own contributions. We give our 7th Tradition donations at the meetings as we can afford to, an acknowledgment of the benefits our program gives us.

At the meeting level, our contributions are used to keep the doors open (pay the rent, buy the coffee, make the literature available . . . ), at the Regional level, to keep the lines of communication open between the various Intergroups and World Service, and at the World Service level so people can find meetings. Each member has a responsibility to keep ACOA operational by ensuring their meeting supports their Intergroup, Region, and World Service Organization.

The only requirement for membership is a desire to recover from the effects of growing up in an alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional family.

What We Do in ACOA Meetings
A Personal Invitation

This is your personal invitation to come to ACOA and to keep coming back. Your presence in meetings helps us in our recovery. We know that this program works for us. We have yet to see anyone fail who honestly works the program. This is our path to sanity, our program to serenity. We invite you to participate. ACOA works.

ACOA is an independent 12-Step, 12-Tradition program. We are not affiliated with any other 12-Step organization. We do, however, cooperate with other 12-Step, 12-Tradition programs.

We are not allied with any sect, denomination, organization, institution, political, or law enforcement groups. We do not engage in any controversy, and we neither endorse nor oppose any causes

Contributions are Voluntary
What We Do Not Do at Meetings

Going to meetings and listening to others who talk about their own experiences, strengths, and hopes often helps us in our own recovery. Sharing at meetings helps us to focus, define and clarify our problems. Sometimes we vent our anger or feel our feelings. Talking out loud about our action plan to change our lives helps us to resolve some problems. At times we report our progress or share how well our current plan is working. We often use meetings as a reality check on our overall program, comparing adult life before program to current life in program.

How We Work a Program of Recovery

Individuals recover at their own pace. We, however, have learned by experience that those ACOA members who make the greatest gains in the shortest amount of time are using the tools of recovery.
Briefly, we...
•    go to meetings and call other program people to discuss recovery issues
•    read about the ACOA experiences of others and write about our own
•    use and incorporate information about methods and techniques of recovery
•    define and enforce our boundaries
•    build a personal support network

Our main focus in ACOA is to reparent ourselves, which includes reexamining our former life choices from an emotionally mature perspective. We work a Spiritual program by...
•    using the Steps
•    identifying, evaluating, and removing old parenting instructions from our minds
•    selecting those past parental instructions that are healthy and useful to our lives today, and discarding those that are not
•    discovering the impact and power of the Inner Child in our recovery
•    attending meetings that focus on issues we need to work on
•    giving service in ACOA
•    working with a sponsor