You may download a PDF of these guidelines HERE.
Inappropriate Behavior: It is perfectly normal to feel uncomfortable in your first meeting(s) due to the nature of our addiction. If you experience or witness behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe before/during/after a meeting for any reason, you are encouraged to bring it to the attention of a trusted member or the meeting secretary.
Zoom Anonymity Online: Please use only your first name with last initial when creating your Zoom Profile Name or when introducing yourself in a meeting. Be aware that what you share in your profile name, such as last name, phone number, etc., will be seen by all other members on the call. If you need help with this, please call or email ahead of time, using the contact info provided on the MEETINGS page.
Zoom Anonymity by Phone (Dial-in Only): If you are dialing in with a phone to a Zoom call, your phone number will be displayed to all members. You may ask the host/secretary to replace your phone number with your first name, but that may take a few minutes, especially if the meeting is already underway.
Minors: Individuals under 18 years of age are not allowed in SA meetings.
For All Members: The Newcomer Guidelines above are also recommended for all members.
Reporting any dangerous situations or criminal behavior to the proper authorities does not violate any of our Traditions and is recommended when the safety of another person is at risk. This applies to both direct & observed experiences, as well as member shares.
Boundaries: While life on life’s terms includes attraction toward others, certain boundaries are necessary to minimize distraction & maintain a safe environment for all members to focus on Recovery. Determining which boundaries are appropriate to our level of sobriety & healing is best done with the guidance of our sponsor. Such boundaries may include sharing contact info, physical interactions, and/or group/individual fellowship outside of meetings.
12th Step Work: Whether it is inviting someone to a meeting, offering a ride to a meeting, or approaching a newcomer at his/her first meeting to welcome them, it is essential that this be done in groups of two or more where at least one of the two members has some significant recovery/sobriety/time in the program.
Sponsorship: In addition to the usual recommendations to choose a sponsor who has the kind of recovery you want for yourself, with at least a year of sobriety, and who is further along in the steps with his/her own sponsor, we suggest choosing a member who is the same gender as you, even if that means long-distance step-work over the phone. When considering the possibility of a different arrangement for sponsorship, ask other sober members for ideas/feedback.
Greeter/Co-host: Consider creating this service position for large/hybrid meetings to assist the host/secretary. The responsibility would be to use the chat/waiting room features to identify participants whose numbers/names are unfamiliar and grant access as appropriate.
Chat Functionality: Deactivating the private chat feature for meeting participants keeps members accountable for their communication with others.
Twelve Traditions: Familiarity & consistent practice of the Twelve Traditions of SA is critical to both individual & group recovery. Click HERE for Traditions Checklist.
Group Inventories: It is recommended that every group schedule inventories on a regular basis to nurture a Culture of Sobriety & Recovery. Click HERE for Group Inventory resources.
Check Meetings: In the event that a situation arises outside the scope of experience of a member or group, a Check Meeting may prove helpful to reach a solution.
It is strongly recommended that ALL members, regardless of gender, familiarize themselves with the following essentials:
“Safety and AA: Our Common Welfare” document
“Mixed Meetings” – SA White Book p.178-179
“SA is for Women” pamphlet
“Supporting Women in SA” August 2021 Essay Newsletter
Female Newcomers mp3 (right-click to save file)
Stanislaus & San Joaquin Counties