What are Al-Anon and Alateen?
Al-Anon is a fellowship of people who have been affected by the alcohol abuse of a loved one. We meet regularly in small groups to absorb the strength and hope of others who have lived with alcoholism. We learn from the experience of others who have lived in similar situations.
Alateen meetings are the same as Al-Anon meetings except that Alateen is restricted to people under age 20 who live, or have lived, with someone who abuses alcohol. Alateen meetings include one or two Al-Anon sponsors.
If you are living with a person with an alcohol problem, or if in the past you have lived with an alcohol abuser, please try some of our meetings. We have survived the same problems you are experiencing.
If you know someone who is living with an alcoholic, or whose life has been affected by an alcoholic, please urge him or her to try an Al-Anon meeting (or an Alateen meeting if this person is young).
The most difficult part of joining Al-Anon and Alateen is finding the courage to walk into the first meeting. The welcome we each received in our first meeting has given us the willingness to return. Hearing from others who have been where we are gives us hope. Discovering that each of us is accepted unconditionally, no matter what problems we have, is a relief. Being a part of a recovering process gives us strength.
Some groups meet once a week and others meet more often. There are a few groups that have meetings every day, and sometimes several meetings per day. Some groups have 50 or more attendees and some groups have three or four regular members. Some groups tend to have a broad mixture of people, with a variety of relationships to alcoholics, of various generations, etc., while some groups tend to be people in very similar circumstances.
If you are new to Al-Anon, we urge you to try several groups, if at all possible. You may identify with some groups more than others.
Suggested Al-Anon Preamble to the Twelve Steps
The Al-Anon Family Groups are a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength, and hope in order to solve their common problems. We believe alcoholism is a family illness and that changed attitudes can aid recovery.
Al-Anon is not allied with any sect, denomination, political entity, organization, or institution; does not engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any cause. There are no dues for membership. Al-Anon is self-supporting through its own voluntary contributions.
Al-Anon has but one purpose: to help families of alcoholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps, by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholics, and by giving understanding and encouragement to the alcoholic.
“Reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.” Suggested Preamble reprinted with permission from the Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual (P-24/27), © 1992, Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.
If you have questions or are wondering if Al-Anon/Alateen would help you or should you recommend Al-Anon/Alateen to someone, please explore the official Al-Anon Website to learn more.
You can listen to free Al-Anon Podcasts at http://al-anon.org/newcomers/first-steps-al-anon-recovery/