The   "12 Traditions"   of Alcoholics Anonymous

Traditions Check List

A.A.’s Second Legacy "Unity"

To those now in its fold, Alcoholics Anonymous has made the difference between misery and sobriety, and often the difference between life and death. A.A. can, of course, mean just as much to uncounted alcoholics not yet reached.

Therefore, no society of men and women ever had a more urgent need for continuous effectiveness and permanent unity. We alcoholics see that we must work together and hang together, else most of us will finally die alone.

The 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous are, we A.A.’s believe, the best answers that our experience has yet given to those ever-urgent questions, "How can A.A. best function?" and, "How can A.A. best stay whole and so survive?"

Reprinted from "Alcoholics Anonymous ®", page 561 with permission, Copyright © 1939, 1955, 1976, 2001 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services ®, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Twelve Traditions

1.  Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.

2.  For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority -- a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

3.  The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.

4.  Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.

5.  Each group has but one primary purpose -- to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

6.  An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

7.  Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

8.  Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

9.  A.A. as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

10.  Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

11.  Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.

12.  Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

Reprinted from "Alcoholics Anonymous ®", page 562 with permission, Copyright © 1939, 1955, 1976, 2001 by A.A. World Services ®, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Long Form of Tradition Twelve

And finally we of Alcoholics Anonymous believe that the principle of anonymity has an immense spiritual significance. It reminds us that we are to place principles before personalities; that we are actually to practice a genuine humility. This to the end that our great blessings may never spoil us; that we shall forever live in thankful contemplation of Him who presides over us all.

Reprinted from "Alcoholics Anonymous ®", pages 565, 566 with permission, Copyright © 1939, 1955, 1976, 2001 by A.A. World Services ®, Inc. All rights reserved.