Meeting Definitions

Closed meetings welcome A.A. members and anyone new to A.A. who wants to stop drinking, even if attending a meeting for the first time.

Open meetings are for anyone interested in A.A.’s program of recovery from alcoholism. Non-alcoholics are welcome to attend.

The Difference Between Open and Closed A.A. Meetings
The purpose of all A.A. group meetings, as the Preamble states, is for members to “share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.” Toward this end, some groups hold both open and closed meetings.

The difference between the two main types is that closed meetings are for those who have a drinking problem and “have a desire to stop drinking.” Open meetings are available to anyone interested in Alcoholics Anonymous’ program of recovery from alcoholism.

At both types of meetings, the A.A. chairperson may request that participants confine their discussion to matters pertaining to the recovery from alcoholism.

Whether open or closed, A.A. group meetings are conducted by A.A. members. At open meetings, non-A.A.s may be invited to share, depending upon the conscience of the group.

Reprinted from THE A.A. GROUP, page 16, with permission of A.A.World Services, Inc.