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Facts, Aim & Purpose

Alcoholism has no barriers, age included. Young people suffering from alcoholism have turned to Alcoholics Anonymous and found help there since AA's earliest days. In 1945, one of the first young people's groups in Alcoholics Anonymous was formed in Los Angeles to help carry the message of recovery to young people in AA.


The number of young people suffering from alcoholism, who turn to AA for help, continues to grow. At the 1960 AA convention, Bill W. noted the age of new members to be much lower in 1960 than when he and Dr. Bob founded AA 25 years earlier. The 2011 AA Membership survey reported 11% of the respondents under 30 years of age and 2% under 21 years of age.


The aim of young people's groups is to help newcomers understand that they need not experience years of drinking, loss of family, friends, and finances to be ready for sobriety. They help bring the newcomers into the mainstream of AA Recovery, Unity, and Service through the 12 Steps, 12 Traditions, and the 12 Concepts for World Service by carrying AA's message to the suffering alcoholic.


Young People's groups are in no way separate from Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole. Members are involved in and committed to Twelfth Step work, Hospital and Institution work, Public Information, General Service, and every other facet of AA Service. Newcomers are shown by people their own age that using AA principles in their daily lives and getting involved in AA Service can lead to a lasting and comfortable sobriety.


The purpose of young people's groups is to carry the Alcoholics Anonymous message to alcoholics no matter what their age.


In 1973, the All California Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous Roundup was established as an annual gathering in California to provide an opportunity for young AA's to come together and share their experience, strength, and hope. ACYPAA is visible evidence that large numbers of people are achieving a lasting and comfortable sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous. AA's who attend an ACYPAA Roundup return home better prepared to receive young alcoholics who come to AA seeking recovery.


The ACYPAA Roundup is held anywhere in California where young people's groups can demonstrate: 1) the need for an activity like this to stimulate greater involvement and participation by young people in their area; 2) the ability of their group to function responsibly within the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous; and 3) the ability of the group to host a Roundup representative of the diversity of California young people in Alcoholics Anonymous. The ACYPAA Advisory Council selects the site for future ACYPAA Roundups from groups that present formal bids and it has been established as the custodian of the Roundup's experience.


If you are a young person in AA where there are few other young people, or if you are a member of a young people's group that is not as active as it might be, it is hoped that you will find encouragement in this message. There are others, like you, who are staying sober in AA and trying to carry AA's message to alcoholics who still suffer, especially young people. If you have questions or experience to share about young people's groups in AA or the All California Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous Roundup, please contact:


*Updated September, 2012

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