OA issued its first national publication, the OA Bulletin, in August 1963. Most of its twenty-four typed pages reported on OA’s second annual Conference.
At that Conference, the Board of Trustees created the OA Bulletin as a bimonthly publication in which members could share stories of individual recovery and receive reports on board and Conference actions. Each of the forty-eight OA groups in existence at that time received two free copies of the first issue.
The premier issue of OA Lifeline appeared in October 1965. Except for its reduced size of sixteen pages, it resembled its predecessor in format and appearance. The issue focused on food and weight, and subsequent early issues even included a page of recipes called “What’s Cookin’.” According to a tally on page seven of the first issue, OA then had eighty-nine groups. The early issues make no mention of circulation.
In 1966, Lifeline began printing the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions in each issue. Circulation climbed to 4,747 by January 1978, when Lifeline began monthly publication. One year later, that number nearly tripled to 11,660. Circulation reached a high of 25,116 in June 1990. Since then, subscription rate increases and declining OA membership have dramatically decreased the magazine’s circulation.
In today’s information age, Lifeline online (oalifeline.org) brings the magazine into some subscribers’ homes by computer and mobile devices. This instant communication via the World Wide Web offers new hope for wider circulation of both the magazine and OA’s message of recovery.
For copies of back issues of Lifeline, go to the OA bookstore (bookstore.oa.org) and select “Lifeline” from the drop-down menu.
Lifeline is available both as a print magazine and an online magazine.