For many years, alcoholism has been recognized as a highly prevalent and disabling health problem, one that affects far more than just the alcoholic alone. Family, friends and others are hurt by its effects — in the home, on the job, on our highways and roads. Alcoholism costs lives, as well as costing communities millions of dollars. So, whether or not you ever become an alcoholic yourself, alcoholism can still have a devastating impact on your life.
We in A.A. have learned a great deal about alcoholism — how to identify and arrest it, and how to live a life in recovery. But so far, no one has discovered a way to prevent it; it is still unknown just why some drinkers turn into alcoholics and others do not. Many doctors and scientists in the field have studied this question but have not been able to determine a definitive cause (or causes) of alcoholism.
For that reason, we in A.A. concentrate on helping those who are already alcoholics, those who may have a desire to stop drinking, so that they can begin to recover and to learn how to live a normal, happy life without alcohol.
From A Brief Guide to Alcoholics Anonymous