Public Information and Co-operation with the Professional Community
Our Twelfth Step—carrying the message—is the basic service that the A.A. Fellowship gives; this is our principal aim and the main reason for our existence. We must carry the message, else we ourselves can wither and those who haven’t been given the truth may die.
In the early days, Bill and Bob used medical professionals to find other suffering alcoholics.
The Big Book, pamphlets and other AA literature also carry the message has also been carried by newspaper and magazine articles, radio and TV shows and AA public information committees. Institutions committees have carried the message to alcoholics in both treatment and correctional facilities. An AA listing in the telephone directory has proved a lifesaver for many.
Co-Operation with the professional community
Cooperating with nonalcoholic professionals is an effective way to carry the message to the sick alcoholic. Such people often meet the alcoholic in places where A.A. is not present. Through professionals, alcoholics may be reached who might otherwise never find the program, or they may be reached sooner with the help of informed non-A.A.s.
The list of helpful professions is long and might include: alcoholism or other counsellors; armed forces officer; corrections officer; court official; educator; employers or employee assistance professionals; health care professional (doctor, nurse, psychiatrist, psychologist, etc.); clergyperson; judge; juvenile services professional; law enforcement officer; lawyers, public health official or anyone who deals with problem drinkers in the course of their work.
Many of these people often encounter the suffering alcoholic, and in spite of public awareness, many of them simply don’t know what to do with a drunk.
C.P.C. work can begin when individual A.A.s reveal their membership to their doctors.
Interested in Corrections?
If you are already involved or have an interest in bringing AA’s Message of Recovery into correctional facilities, this forum over the weekend of the 27th-29th August 2021 is a ‘must’ for you! Corrections service work is one of the four areas of outreach our Fellowship conducts in getting our Recovery Message out into the community. This event will provide a unique opportunity on a national level for AA members to share their experience, strength and hope in helping alcoholics who are walled up in correctional facilities. We will have some guest speakers to get the dialogue going for some informed and fruitful discussion.
As stated on page 102 of the book Alcoholics Anonymous: “Your job now is to be at the place where you may be of maximum helpfulness to others, so never hesitate to go anywhere if you can be helpful. You should not hesitate to visit the most sordid spot on earth on such an errand.”
With that quote in mind, if our August event generates greater enthusiasm resulting in constructive action in carrying AA’s Message to the alcoholic inmate behind bars, then the Forum will have achieved its purpose!
Here is a bit more food for thought about AA Corrections service work. It is an excerpt from a letter Bill W. Wrote to a prison group in 1949:
“Every A.A. has been, in a sense, a prisoner. Each of us has walled himself out of society; each has known social stigma. The lot of you folks has been even more difficult: In your case, society has also built a wall around you. But there isn’t any real essential difference, a fact that practically all A.A.s now know. Therefore, when you members come into the world of A.A. on the outside, you can be sure that no one will care a fig that you have done time. What you are trying to be—not what you were—is all that counts with us.”