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A Study of Tradition 5

The 12 Traditions of A.A. and Al-Anon

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Updated June 30, 2014

The primary purpose of any 12 step group is to carry its message and give comfort to others who are still suffering.
Alcoholics Anonymous
Tradition 5: Each group has but one primary purpose -- to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

Al-Anon
Tradition 5: Each Al-Anon Family Group has but one purpose: to help families of alcoholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps of AA ourselves, by encouraging and understanding our alcoholic relatives, and by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholics.

Individual members brings their own needs into the 12 step rooms and each progresses through the journey of recovery at their own pace. Everyone is different. Each member has a personal reason for coming back week after week.

But as a group they have but one purpose: to reach out to others who are still suffering. To share the experience, strength, and hope they have found inside the rooms with others.

An old timer was once asked why he kept coming back after all the years. His answer was simple. "Because there was someone there for me when I came through those doors!"

Visitors to the About.com Alcoholism site have added their comments in our 12 Steps and Traditions study on the bulletin board. Here are their comments on Tradition 5:

More About Tradition 5

Love and Service
"The one truth we know is that in order to stay sober ourselves we must help the next drunk through the door."

Old Timers
"Keep filling your own chair and someday there will be an oldtimer at your meeting."

Growth
"The fifth Tradition is simple yet covers many aspects of my Al-Anon growth."

Back to The Twelve Traditions Study

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