Frequently Asked Questions

What is WSO?

WSO is the World Service Organization of Adult Children of Alcoholics. It acts as the central agency of the program, gathering and disseminating meeting information; creating and distributing literature for use in the Family Groups and provides information to the general public.

Adult Children of Alcoholics is a recovery program for adults whose lives were affected as a result of being raised in an alcoholic or other dysfunctional family. It is based on the success of Alcoholics Anonymous and employs its version of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

No ! If you can identify with The Problem or have several of the characteristics of the “Laundry List” ACA will benefit you.

ACA is self-help, self-supporting program and according to our Seventh Tradition we finance our own way. If you are financially able we ask for a small contribution at each meeting.

ACA provides a Spiritual path to recovery; it is not a religious organization, nor is it affiliated with any religion. As a Twelve Step organization, each person is encouraged to seek a Higher Power, or God, of their own understanding. For some, this may well be the God of their religious background or affiliation, the God of their church, synagogue, or mosque. For others, their Higher Power many simply come to be the supportive energy they feel and appreciate within their ACA group meeting. Still others come to replace a fearsome God of their childhood upbringing with a loving God, or Higher Power, they can come to trust. However we see God, as we work the ACA Twelve Steps of recovery, we find we cannot work our recovery program alone and instead come to rely on that Higher Power, or God, of our understanding to restore us to sanity.

ACA is a spiritual program, based on no particular religion or set of beliefs but rather an understanding of a power greater than ourselves that can aid us on our path to recovery. This Higher Power is as diverse as the individuals of the group.

For a list of all the known ACA meetings please go to the Meeting Search page at WSO.  Then you can verify the meeting of your choice by calling the local phone number.

Just as individuals recover and grow meetings are born and die as the need arises or declines. WSO tries to keep the meeting information current but cannot guarantee that every meeting listed is active. See the next section for other options if there are no ACA meetings listed in your local area.

If you aren't able to travel to a meeting, try these links:

You may wish to start an ACA meeting in your town. It’s easy. Start by downloading the "Guidelines for a new meeting" from the WSO website. This will give you all the basic materials needed for establishing and running an ACA meeting. The ACA Fellowship Text also includes information on starting a new meeting. For additional information, consider ordering a New Meeting Packet to help in starting your meeting. Both the Fellowship Text and New Meeting Packet are available for purchase at the WSO online shop.

Many ACA groups hold closed meetings, which means the meeting is reserved for those identifying as an adult child. Guests are asked to attend an open meeting, which is open to friends and relatives of the adult child. For some ACA members, closed meetings offer a sense of safety and stronger identification among those sharing or speaking at the meeting (extracted from the ACA Fellowship Text p 566).