Start a meeting - DAA Sweden

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Start a meeting

To start a new DAA meeting.

If there are no meetings in your area, you can start your own group.
Meetings are a necessary part of recovery.
Starting a new group can be quite simple but requires lots of preparation and a strong commitment.

If you want to start a new group we can provide advice and guidance. In that case, please send an email to
We will then take it from there and provide support and instructions together with the information we need from you.

Why are meetings important?

The main point of any meeting is to carry the message.
This according to the fifth tradition:
Each group has but one primary purpose - to carry its message to the drug addict who still suffers.
We do this by talking about the Twelve Steps and how they have changed our lives (or how they begin to change our lives). We use our experience to explain how our drug dependence worked against us in our lives, and how we use spiritual principles to overcome our difficulties.
We talk about how we must change our way of life to overcome our shortcomings.
We remember and also talk about our past with the help of stories about how we thought, felt and behaved ourselves. By doing so we invite newcomers to obtain the opportunity to identify themselves with us and share a common past.
The difference is that these things are in our past, but for the newcomer, they will be today's reality. We show the way forward and describe our new way of living so they can follow us out of their addiction.
Often the newcomer will experience lots of fear and suspicion when attending their first meeting so a friendly encouraging atmosphere is therefore of paramount importance.
They will get a Welcome to DAA-chip, a “Program explanation” and a meeting list. At DAA meetings, the meeting leader explains that the newcomer is always the most important person at the meeting.

What happens at the DAA meetings - various forms of meetings.

At DAA meetings members meet to talk about the 12 steps and their recovery.
Both their successes and their difficulties. They usually last an hour or so.
Meeting venues open 30-60 minutes in advance so people can meet and talk over a cup of tea or coffee.
The leader's open the meeting and welcomes everybody.
We read our pre-amble, how it works, the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.
Somebody asks if there are any newcomers and that person gets a particularly warm welcome.
We celebrate sober time and chips are awarded in denominations of 30, 60 & 90 days and 6 and 9 months.
For anniversaries, a medal is received.
In DAA, we identify ourselves only by our first name and as alcoholics and/or drug addicts. Speaking at a meeting are called "sharing"

There are open and closed meetings.
Open meetings are for anyone interested. I.e. relatives, friends and professionals.
Closed meetings are just for us who have a desire to stop using alcohol and drugs.

Speakers Meeting:
A speaker meeting is when one member shares a little longer, up to one hour, about their lives. How it was in the past, what happened and how it is now. How working the twelve-step program has changed their way of life. A "life story" simply. Then when the speaker is finished, other members shares about their feelings and memories arising during the speaker's sharing.
Speakers meetings are usually the longest ones.

Step Meeting:
A text of one of the Twelve Steps is read. The members then share how they worked/are working the selected step.
Themes Meeting:
The leader asks the participants to propose one or more themes such as gratitude, honesty, patience, or the like. The members then share about these selected topics.

Literature Meeting:
A member reads a passage from AA's literature.
I.e, AA's Big Book, As Bill sees it or Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions.
The members then share about the selected topics.

It is always a group affair, selecting their meeting form.
Therefore, there is Theme/Step-meeting or Emotional/Literature meeting, etc.

What you need to start a meeting.

Each DAA meeting is led by the group of people who regularly take part.
Different roles should be filled. Here is a draft of these.

Group Service Representative: (GSR) makes sure all service is running smoothly in the group. Convenes and chairs the group's business meetings ... (as a board)
They communicate between the group and other groups in the area as well.

Treasurer: Keep track of, and report on the group's finances. Manage rental payments and distributes money to purchase and return of excess funds to the DAA as a whole. A DAA-group should not hold money in excess, however, a good idea is to have a month's rent as a buffer for hard times.

Secretary: Someone that records the group's business meetings. Keeps the group's literature, and if necessary, the service group's contact details, telephone numbers and email addresses.

Coffee maker: Perhaps the most important person, after the newcomers, naturally.
They usually have the responsibility of the keys and manages the meeting preparation. Arranges the coffee and tea, arranging the literature, lighting candles, etc. This responsibility should be shared between at least two people, so there is a backup in situations such as illness or problems with child care. Coffee Makers are often seen as our groups face outwards as they are first on the scene and welcome members when they come to the meeting.

Experience has shown us that the three legacies which the triangle in our logo stands for are beneficial to others and ourselves:

Are there any rules for a meeting?
There is a list of 12 principles which, if followed, will keep the meetings fresh and productive. These principles are called the Twelve Traditions. Of course, the one who is drunk or stoned are not allowed to share but to listen and talk to someone after the meeting.
Meetings are not suitable place for children.
Dogs are also not suitable, for reasons of allergy sufferers.

The choice of venue is important.
We often use the church premises, peoples community houses, tenants associations and theatres for our meetings. People are often very interested in the DAA and what we do, and are often eager to make a room available so that society can benefit from the meeting.
Do not be shy to explain what the DAA is and what your meeting is about. Many people will encourage you for what you are trying to do. The church tends to be particularly generous in terms of trust and tolerance but also lease.
Consider well the lease must be reasonable so that it can readily be paid under a contract even in times when the group's voluntary contributions falters. Good public transport links to facilitate as many of us do not have the best economy.
Once you find a good meeting place - care for it tenderly!
Respect and humility towards our proprietors and neighbors is of utmost importance.
It will help to bring a positive message of DAA.
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