Detox have suspended AA information session visits/meetings for the foreseeable future.
We will continue to maintain the contact list and roster in anticipation of the situation returning to normal.
If you would like to do some service —as an individual AA member or as an AA group— or would like further information please contact the detox Coordinator at .
Suggested guidelines for AA members performing Detox information session visits.
AA now sends members into the Canberra Hospital Detox ward 3 times a week – Tuesday and Thursday nights at 7:30 and Sunday afternoon at 3:00. Generally 2 or 3 people go in and the visit lasts around 60 to 90 minutes.
At the request of the Detox, all members going in should be recovering alcoholics with a minimum of 3 months current continuous sobriety and at least one should have 12 months. Please talk to the staff before and after the meeting, they can let the visiting party know if there are any issues that you should be aware of, and after the meeting the AA members can let them know if any problems were encountered.
If a detox client becomes difficult or upset, an AA member should excuse themselves from the table and find a staff member.
Members share in the "what it was like, what happened & what it is like now" format, in a positive way with emphasis on attraction rather than promotion and not supporting or opposing any outside issues including religious or higher power beliefs.
Also be very mindful of the following:
- promote AA or the program being a relief or cure for other conditions, especially mental illnesses, or suggest that it can replace normal medical treatment practices.
- bring up specific traumatic events in your childhood or adult life that might act as trigger for negative flashbacks in the patients.
- engage in comparative or competitive behaviour, e.g. someone mentions an event that happened at the age of 15 and you reply “Well that happened to me when I was 12”.
- talk about medication, psychiatry, or scientific theories of alcoholism. This is the territory for professionals.
- argue about anything with patients or staff. Arguments never win friends.
- be mindful that you're dealing with people in very early sobriety who are probably still very sick.
- conduct the meeting within the spirit of the AA Steps and Traditions, with the philosophy of attraction rather than promotion. Reading the Big Book chapter “Working with others” as well as the AA pamphlet “AA in Treatment Settings” before going in can be helpful there.
- be respectful that the patients future plans might involve alternative recovery programs or no action at all. It's their choice.
- try to be positive. If you're going through current life problems, don't focus on them too much and remember that the people you're dealing with are probably way worse off.
- take in about 10 meetings lists to leave there if possible. Some generic AA pamphlets is also a good idea.