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Alcoholics Anonymous is known for the diversity of its membership, with A.A. members from every walk of life sitting side by side in the approximately 100,000 A.A. groups in the United States and Canada. Over the years, though, professionals-doctors, lawyers, airplane pilots, and others-have established a few A.A. groups for those in their field.

Given their common concerns and issues, these members have found A.A. meetings with peers useful. Such groups, which are autonomous along with every other A.A. group, are usually found in large metropolitan areas. They function as any other A.A. meeting.

Among their other purposes, these groups can allay the fears of new A.A. members who may feel more comfortable in a meeting of their peers. The preamble read at “Birds of a Feather” A.A. meetings, which are attended by airline cockpit crew members, refers to the “occupational sensitivity of its members.”

One of the hurdles facing those seeking help in A.A. may be fear of exposure or the shameful sense that their problem is unique to them. Local A.A. offices-called central offices or intergroups- sometimes have lists of A.A. members willing to talk one-on-one with a person seeking information about Alcoholics Anonymous. On these lists are representatives of many professions who will be able to reassure a prospective A.A. member that they are not alone.

There are also A.A. groups for women, men, gays, lesbians, and young people, among others. Information on where to find these groups or any other local meetings is available at A.A. offices around the country.

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