Debtors Anonymous started in 1968 by a core group of recovering members from Alcoholics Anonymous who began to discuss the issues they were having with money. Led by John H, these members began a journey to understand the causes and conditions of their problems with money.
By 1971 it was evident that the only solution was to incorporate the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to stop incurring unsecured debt one day at a time. Meetings came and went but it was not until 1978 that the first regularly scheduled DA meeting was held in Manhattan. By early 1982, there were five meetings in New York. During this time the General Service Board was created and they established a service structure based on AA.
By early 1982, there were five meetings in New York. During this time the General Service Board was created and they established a service structure based on AA. In 1987 the GSB formed the World Service Conference also based on AA.
The biggest challenge during the first 15 years was the development of a service structure, the writing and adoption of DA literature, and overcoming regional issues. In 1994, the importance of Intergroups was recognized when Intergroup Service Representatives joined General Service Representatives and Trustees as delegates to the annual World Service Conference.
Debtors Anonymous today has more than 500 registered meetings in more than 15 countries worldwide. It has several recovery books, a large stock of literature, and recently produced its first foreign-language literature. As of this writing, in 2016, DA is poised to celebrate 40 years of existence as a Fellowship.
Adapted from the “History of Debtors Anonymous” page on DebtorsAnonymous.org