Do You Make An Old-Fashioned
many treatment facilities closing their doors, more and more A.A.'s are
seeking guidelines for making old-fashioned Twelfth Step calls.
1998 Conference Literature Committee considered a pamphlet on making
Twelfth Step calls that was compiled and in use by Area 25 (Kansas).
Although Conference committee members felt this effort was fine for local
use, they emphasized the importance of the use of "How It Works"
in the Big Book, as well as seeking guidance through sponsorship, the
experience of older members and workshops.
such workshop was held last spring by the Answering Services Committee of
the Elmira (New York) Area Intergroup. The area's second Twelfth Step
workshop, developed its program along lines of the G.S.O.'s service piece
"Suggested Workshop Format." Out of the workshop experience has
come some suggested guidelines. Because they have proven so useful, the
committee has shared them with G.S.O., as follows, in the hope that others
will be helped too:
1. Return calls ASAP.
back immediately to listen, share and arrange a time and place to
meet-but not at a bar. If you are called to a bar, go there
only to pick the person
up and, preferably, to get him or her to a meeting.
Twelfth Step in pairs, with a same-sex member if possible. Twelfth‑Step
calls can be intense, and there is safety in numbers. Besides, two heads
are better than one. Be punctual and look your best.
3. Twelfth Step when the prospect is sober or fairly sober. Calls
on intoxicated alcoholics seldom work because of blackouts. Wait for the
end of a spree or a lucid interval when the prospect is still jittery.
4. During home calls, separate prospect from family if you can (suggest Al‑Anon
for family members).
people butting in to influence you about the "bad guy" can be
disruptive. Learn from experienced A.A.s how to interact with family or
significant others on the scene, and when it is wiser to leave than to
Suggest detox/rehab if needed. If
such is indicated, arrange with family or significant others, with
prospect's permission if possible. Should violence seem imminent, leave.
If necessary, make the appropriate phone call.
6. Share how it was (your own drunkalog). Don't
moralize or lecture or brand prospects as "alcoholics." That
decision is theirs-even as to tossing out alcohol they have on hand.
Detail your own symptoms, drinking habits and other personal experiences
7. Share your understanding of the disease of alcoholism. Let
the person know that this disease is progressive and can end with insanity
or early death. Describe the conditions of body, mind and spirit that
Share exactly what happened to you. The
prospect will probably want to know how long you have been in A.A. and how
you got and stayed sober.
Share your A.A. experience. Share
how A.A. has worked for you and helped you to regain your sanity while
maintaining sobriety, how it has led to being willing to believe in a
power greater than self. Use everyday language and avoid arousing
prejudice against theological terms and conceptions.
10. Share how it is now-your recovery program and spirituality. Outline
the A.A. program of action and emphasize that this isn't the somber end of
something (preferably drinking) but the start of a challenging, rewarding
way of living based on spiritual principles.
11. Leave a meeting schedule, A.A. pamphlets
and your phone number; and make one follow-up
visit or phone call. Offer
to return for further questions, and help with transportation to a meeting
if possible. Mention Al-Anon meetings available to family members
and significant others.
12. Understand that success means YOU are still sober. Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive Twelfth Step work with other alcoholics.
with permission from Box 459, Vol. 44 #5.
Updated August 07, 2008 © 2001 Copyright All Rights Reserved Reading-Berks Intergroup, Reading, PA