Alcoholics Anonymous has launched a free national telephone service to help those wanting to quit drinking.
Now suffering alcoholics need not pay for calls to the AA helpline and will be able to find out where to get help from either a landline or mobile.
The launch of the free new number comes as AA says it wants to be able to be accessible to everyone seeking help from alcoholism whatever their means.
A spokeswoman for AA said: “As a result of discussion throughout our Fellowship we have decided to offer a free call service. We want to be able to help as many suffering alcoholics as possible and now people can call even from a mobile and not pay for the call.”
AA’s national helpline offers support and help for those wanting to escape the illness of alcoholism and find their way to an AA meeting. Many sufferers have found sobriety and managed to turn their lives around as a result of calling the AA helpline.
First time callers are offered help by an AA volunteer who will share their experience and story of recovery and offer to put them in touch with an AA member who will take them to their first AA meeting.
The helpline also receives calls from AA members needing to find a meeting and from professionals wanting to know more about the AA fellowship.
Last month AA celebrated its 80th birthday and in that time has grown from the two original founders, a New York stockbroker, Bill Wilson and Dr Robert Smith, an Akron surgeon, to a Fellowship spanning the world with more than 2 million recovering members.
In Great Britain there are about 4,500 groups meeting weekly with a membership estimated at around 40,000.
The national free number is 0800 9177 650 and covers the whole of Great Britain.