142. An Alcoholic Is?

142. An Alcoholic Is?

Upgrading our understanding of an alcoholic for many of us is ongoing. While drafting The Foundation for Alcoholics Anonymous’ charter, Bill W., our co-founder, told the lawyer, the board would consist of nonalcoholic and alcoholic, the majority nonalcoholic. What characteristics distinguishing nonalcoholic from alcoholic, the lawyer asked? One of our members replied, the nonalcoholic can drink alcohol, the alcoholic cannot. The Chair, Alcoholics Anonymous General Service Board wrote in the 2010 International Convention’s special edition of the Grapevine, about three basic issues to address. One issue facing Alcoholics Anonymous is poly-addiction. Some Alcoholics Anonymous members struggle to find the balance between singleness of purpose and poly-addiction. Many of those currently coming to Alcoholics Anonymous have multiple addictions. Over thirty years ago I began offering Program workshops on how to apply our Program to every area of our human condition, "practice these principles in all our affairs." I decided on open-workshops, it turned out to be the right decision. Most nonalcoholic do not identify with alcoholics or the other way around. What about the poly-addicted whose drug of choice is alcohol and does identify with another alcoholic? Why do other types of addicts come to Alcoholics Anonymous, if they don’t identify with alcoholics? For years other Twelve Step Programs lacked "long-timers" that knew how to apply the Steps and Traditions to their disease, so they showed up at our doors. Those that learned to apply the Steps and Traditions started their own groups for people with the same drug of choice as theirs.


1. Has the time come for a new workable definition of an alcoholic?

2. What is the difference between a nonalcoholic and an alcoholic?

3. If alcohol is your drug of choice but you are poly-addicted, how do you handle it?

4. If you are poly-addicted and your drug of choice is not alcohol, how do you handle it?

5. Have you been asked to leave a closed Alcoholics Anonymous meeting?

Random Awakening

Two themes come to me this morning; the first was I need to make a firm commitment to do our Father’s will at each beginning. The second was to consistently experience the intuitive wisdom that I love so much.