Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem.
We have representatives from each of the over 300 Local Groups in Suffolk County, NY on Long Island, providing services across the county as directed by these Groups. One example is the development and maintenance of this website.
Among many other services, we coordinate the Suffolk A.A. Hotline for those in crisis and seeking help, publish our county-wide meeting list, and publish a monthly newsletter. We hold special workshops and meetings, and we serve as a clearinghouse for public information. We inventory and distribute information about A.A. and A.A. activities.
We coordinate with other Area Intergroups and work closely with Alcoholics Anonymous Worldwide Services.
The start of A.A. meetings in Suffolk County has been traced back to the early 1940’s. By the end of the 1940’s we had active, and established groups in Huntington, Sayville, Riverhead, Bayshore, Southampton, Amityville, and a few other communities.
The 1950’s & 1960’s saw an explosive growth in A.A. as Suffolk County became one of the fastest growing counties in New York State.
In 1966 five towns near Riverhead sponsored a Hotline to aid suffering alcoholics. This allowed them to call locally and receive help from the nearby groups. Newcomers had reported the reluctance to spend money to call New York City. Those that did either received no response or were called several days later, and by members of distant groups.
By 1970 A.A. had grown considerably in Suffolk, and the need for more local centralized service was apparent. The answering service was extended county wide with a majority of the groups contributing to the support of the service. In addition to answering calls for help and information, referrals for 12 step activity, hospitalization and sponsorship, meeting lists were compiled and distributed and program exchange meetings were arranged by the Hauppauge Group.
In March of 1973, a unanimous vote established full Intergroup status. With 85 groups throughout Suffolk County, and with over 190 meetings per week.
As of March 1998, Suffolk County has over 390 groups with 750 meetings weekly. Over twenty five thousand county meeting lists are distributed three times per year, at no charge. The Hotline has always been manned twenty four hours a day by A.A. volunteers. Each October, Suffolk County hosts it’s annual Share-a-thon with workshops throughout the day. Suffolk General Services representatives meet monthly and have active committees dealing with Public Information, Treatment and Corrections facilities, Archives, Special Needs, Cooperation with the Professional Community, Literature, and the Grapevine (A.A.’s meeting in print). Suffolk General Service also hosts an annual Unity Breakfast.
Intergroups are service entities that focus exclusively on local needs (e.g. maintaining meeting lists, organizing speaker exchanges) and are not part of A.A.’s larger decision-making/service structure. You’ll notice they don’t appear in the upside-down triangle. But there is a connection between the two as shown in the diagram.
Though an intergroup falls within the broader definition of “general service” (service below the group level), it should not to be confused with “General Service”, shorthand for A.A.’s larger decision-making/service structure.
Here in Suffolk County, Suffolk Intergroup (SIA) and Suffolk General Service (SGSO), which itself is part of the SENY General Service Office, coordinate with each other to complement and divide up the county’s service needs.
To learn more visit the SENY-Intergroup-Liaison Page
|Related Links From AA World Services|
|MG-02 – A.A. Guidelines on Central or Intergroup Offices|
|Box 459 – Aug/Sep 2007 – IO/COs: AA’s Front Line|
|Box 459 – Fall 2017 – IO/COs: Then & Now|