Hospitals & Institutions

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Guidelines for District 12 H&I Volunteers

Meeting Structure

•    Each meeting includes a meeting chair person and a volunteer who brings the topic. The meeting chair person must have six months of sobriety, all others must have at least three months sobriety.
•    The meeting chair person is responsible for reading the meeting format to open and close the meeting.  Most facilities provide their own format.  A generic format can be found on this website under the Resources section.
•    If a volunteer has not already been assigned to bring a topic, the meeting chairperson can designate someone to do so.  The topic should be selected from the Doctor’s Opinion through page 164 of the Big Book.                 
•    It is best to have two men or two women scheduled for each meeting.
•    The meeting chairperson is to contact volunteers to confirm availability and to find out if anyone needs transportation or wants to carpool to the meeting.  Please call or email Jim W or Mike C. if you need contact information.  The monthly volunteer schedule is posted on this web page.


Changes in your schedule

•    As a scheduled volunteer, please notify the meeting chairperson or one of the committee members if you are unable to attend your assigned meeting.  Please do your best to locate a replacement among current volunteers.  


H&I general guidelines

•    Do not disclose any information that could identify a person in treatment for substance abuse; there are State and Federal confidentiality regulations that protect the patients.  No photographs or recordings are permitted.
•    You must be an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous, i.e. you have a Sponsor, are actively working the 12 Steps, are members of and participate in a Home Group, and attend AA meetings regularly.
•    Stay focused on the solution - limit "war stories".
•    Remember singleness of purpose.  This is an AA meeting and discussion is limited to problems and solutions related to alcohol.  If you are unable to limit your discussion to only alcohol, we request you to please volunteer for H&I’s with the fellowship dealing with your particular problem.
•    Do not allow cross talk.
•    Volunteers should share once in order to allow as much time as possible for patients to share. Do not share multiple times unless there are no patients who are sharing.
•    Follow facility rules - Sign in, respect designated smoking areas.
•    Be on time, but no sooner than 30 minutes before the start of the meeting.
•    Dress code - Remember that you represent Alcoholics Anonymous so dress modestly. Serenity House does not allow shorts.
•    Refrain from swearing / using profanity.
•    No more than four volunteers to a meeting.
•    No cell phones.
•    No energy drinks.
•    Do not fraternize with the patients.  You are there to discuss the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.


Unique guidelines for specific facilities


•    Men smoke on east side, women on west side.

La Hacienda

•    Smoking with patients is prohibited.  Smoke only in the staff area located behind the intern’s office.
•    Requests the patients not chant, applaud speakers, etc; conduct the H&I like an AA meeting.

Serenity House

•    The patients chair the meeting.
•    Do not wear shorts; this rule applies to men and women.
•    Men may talk with men; women may talk with women.

Other helpful information about carrying the message to treatment facilities
(Adapted from "AA in Treatment Facilities", AA General Service Conference approved literature):

•    Once an AA commitment is made to any institution or organization, we cannot let our Fellowship down by not living up to the agreement fully.  

•    We must be willing to follow direction.  Please remember this program is allowed by the facility and they can discontinue the meetings if we do not abide by their rules and regulations.

•    This type of twelfth-step work requires a "cheerful humility".  We simply put the message in front of the alcoholic in treatment.  What the alcoholic does with it is not our business.

•    Since AA's public relations policy is based on attraction, rather than promotion, that leaves it up to each of us to reflect the attractiveness of the AA way of life.  

•    We must stick to our own business - being an alcoholic.  We are not in the business of educating non-alcoholics about alcoholism, religion, medicine, or anything else.  The AA message is carried by sharing our experience, strength and hope.  We have no business criticizing any professional agency or person, or telling them how to treat or not to treat alcoholics.

•    You do not need to have been hospitalized yourself to do twelfth-step work in a treatment facility.  What is important is our personal experience with alcoholism - "what it was like, what happened, and what it is like now".

24-Hour Help Line

(888) 816-8800
For the counties of:
Bandera, Gillespie, Kerr, Kendall, Kimble

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