Difference between al anon and alateen
Find an Al-Anon or Alateen Face-to-Face, Phone, or Online MeetingSkip to content
Al-Anon is a mutual support group of peers who share their experience in applying the Al-Anon principles to problems related to the effects of a problem drinker in their lives.
Find an Al-Anon Meeting
Alateen is a peer support group for teens who are struggling with the effects of someone else’s problem drinking.
Find an Alateen Meeting
Electronic Al-Anon meetings are held online and over the phone. Electronic meeting formats include: Phone, Email, Chat, Blog, Bulletin Board, Instant Messaging (Skype, WhatsApp, Discord, etc.), Web Conferencing (Zoom, WebEx, etc.) and Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
Find an Electronic Meeting
Find a Telephone Meeting
Worldwide Al-Anon Contacts
Directory of U. S., Canadian, and worldwide Al-Anon Family Group offices to obtain Al-Anon meeting information and other services provided.
Find Al-Anon Worldwide
Here are a few things to keep in mind at your first meeting
- Al‑Anon is a mutual support group. Everyone at the meeting shares as an equal. No one is in a position to give advice or direction to anyone else. Everyone at the meeting has experienced a problem with someone else’s drinking.
- You are free to ask questions or to talk about your situation at your first meeting. If you’d rather just listen, you can say “I pass,” or explain that you’d just like to listen.
- Every meeting is different. Each meeting has the autonomy to be run as its members choose, within guidelines designed to promote Al‑Anon unity. Al‑Anon recommends that you try at least six different meetings before you decide if Al‑Anon will be helpful to you.
- Al‑Anon is not a religious program. Even when the meeting is held in a religious center, the local Al‑Anon group pays rent to that center and is not affiliated in any way with any religious group. Your religious beliefs—or lack of them—are not a subject for discussion at Al‑Anon meetings, which focus solely on coping with the effects of someone’s drinking.
- It will take some time to fully understand the significance of anonymity to the Al‑Anon program. But at its simplest level, anonymity means that the people in the room will respect the confidentiality of what you say and won’t approach you outside the room in a way that compromises your privacy or the privacy of anyone who attended an Al‑Anon meeting.
- The meeting will likely begin with a reading of the Twelve Steps of Al‑Anon. It will take some time to fully understand how the Twelve Steps can be a helpful tool in recovering from the effects of someone’s drinking. But Al‑Anon gives you the opportunity to grow at your own pace.
FAQ - Al-Anon Family GroupsSkip to content
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this a religious fellowship?Scot2021-08-25T09:27:36-04:00
Is this a religious fellowship?
Al-Anon Family Groups is a spiritual fellowship, not a religious one. We avoid discussion of specific religious doctrine, and members of all faiths (or of none) are welcome. Our Twelve Steps ask us to find a “Power greater than ourselves” who can help us solve our problems and find serenity. Each member is free to define that power in his or her own way.
Is an appointment needed?Scot2021-08-25T09:27:03-04:00
Is an appointment needed?
No advance notification or formal written referral is necessary to attend an Al-Anon or Alateen meeting. Most Al-Anon groups have a contact who can be called for information about the group, our program in general, or for directions to a meeting. Many Alateen groups meet at the same time and location as an Al-Anon group. Alateen meetings are open only to teenagers. (Note: Some Alateen meetings also welcome pre-teen aged children)
How much is this going to cost?Scot2021-08-25T09:26:29-04:00
How much is this going to cost?
There are no dues or fees in Al-Anon and Alateen meetings. Most groups pass a basket for voluntary contributions. Members are asked to contribute what they can afford, so that the group can pay rent, provide literature, and offer support to local and worldwide service centers.
How will Al-Anon help me?Scot2019-01-30T08:16:41-05:00
How will Al-Anon help me?
Many who come to Al-Anon/Alateen are in despair, feeling hopeless, unable to believe that things can ever change. We want our lives to be different, but nothing we have done has brought about change. We all come to Al-Anon because we want and need help.
In Al-Anon and Alateen, members share their own experience, strength, and hope with each other. You will meet others who share your feelings and frustrations, if not your exact situation. We come together to learn a better way of life, to find happiness whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not.
What if I’m not ready to go to a meeting?Scot2019-01-30T08:16:41-05:00
What if I’m not ready to go to a meeting?
There are a variety of reasons why people are reluctant to attend their first meeting.
First, they’re so deeply engaged in trying to cope with a stressful situation that it’s hard to break away from engrained patterns of behavior.
On the one hand, we know that any possible solution is likely to be found somewhere we haven’t yet looked. But on the other hand, it can be worrisome to try something that seems entirely new.
Many Al-Anon members struggled for many years with the difficult challenges of coping with the effects of alcoholism. It’s often easier to envision continued difficulties than a positive solution. That’s why it’s easy to think of so many reasons not to attend an Al-Anon meeting.
If you feel anxiety about attending an Al-Anon meeting, you’re not alone. Many people have felt that way. But overcoming that reluctance is an opportunity for personal growth, the first of many that the Al-Anon program offers. It’s the first step on the road to recovery.
Don’t worry about whether or not you want to become a “member.” Just visit a variety of different meetings to gather information—to hear how the people there handle their issues with alcoholics. It may be that some of their experiences will be helpful to you.
Will anyone say I’ve been there?Scot2019-01-30T08:16:42-05:00
Will anyone say I’ve been there?
One of the Al-Anon program’s basic principles is that of anonymity. Meetings are confidential, and we do not disclose whom we see or what we hear at meetings to anyone.
How do I find a meeting?Scot2019-01-30T08:16:43-05:00
How do I find a meeting?
Al-Anon may be listed in the white pages of your local telephone directory. Cities with local information services are listed on our website. Many of those listed post meeting information on their websites. For meeting information in Canada, the US, and Puerto Rico you can call 1-888-4AL-ANON (1-888-425-2666).
Do I have to say anything at a meeting?Scot2019-01-30T08:16:46-05:00
Do I have to say anything at a meeting?
It is your choice to speak or not during the meetings. Newcomers are welcomed to meetings, usually provided with literature and a local meeting list, and invited to listen and learn. Some meetings offer beginners’ meetings, specifically for newcomers. Members are available to answer questions before or after the meetings.
Who are the members of Al-Anon and Alateen?Scot2019-01-30T08:16:47-05:00
Who are the members of Al-Anon and Alateen?
Al-Anon and Alateen members are people just like you and me–people who have been affected by someone else’s drinking. They are parents, children, spouses, partners, brothers, sisters, other family members, friends, employers, employees, and coworkers of alcoholics. No matter what our specific experience has been we share a common bond: we feel our lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking.
What is alcoholism?Scot2019-01-30T08:16:47-05:00
What is alcoholism?
Alcoholism is widely recognized as a disease of compulsive drinking, which can be arrested, but not cured. It is a progressive illness, which will get only worse as long as the person continues to drink. Total abstinence from drinking is the only way to arrest the disease. Alcoholism affects the entire family; indeed, everyone who has contact with the alcoholic is affected. Unfortunately, the only person who can stop the alcoholic from drinking is the alcoholic himself or herself.
Who are alcoholics?Scot2019-01-30T08:16:48-05:00
Who are alcoholics?
They could be anyone, from all backgrounds and walks of life. Over 95 percent of alcoholics have families, friends, and jobs. They may function fairly well, but some part of their life is suffering. Their drinking causes a continuing and growing problem in their lives, and the lives they touch.
How do alcoholics affect families and friends?Scot2019-01-30T08:16:49-05:00
How do alcoholics affect families and friends?
Alcoholism is a family disease. The disease affects all those who have a relationship with a problem drinker. Those of us closest to the alcoholic suffer the most, and those who care the most can easily get caught up in the behavior of another person. We react to the alcoholic’s behavior. We focus on them, what they do, where they are, how much they drink. We try to control their drinking for them. We take on the blame, guilt, and shame that really belong to the drinker. We can become as addicted to the alcoholic, as the alcoholic is to alcohol. We, too, can become ill.
My friend/loved one is a drug addict. Can I go to an Al‑Anon meeting?Scot2021-01-08T10:53:16-05:00
My friend/loved one is a drug addict. Can I go to an Al‑Anon meeting?
The primary purpose of Al‑Anon is to provide support to the friends and families of alcoholics. In a recent membership survey 35% of our members said they joined our program because of a loved one’s drug addiction and that their lives had improved since attending meetings.
There is another program, Nar‑Anon, which is for people affected by a loved one’s drug addiction. You can visit their web site here: Nar‑Anon.org. You are also welcome to try Al‑Anon meetings, then decide if the Al‑Anon program might be helpful to you.
Can I bring the alcoholic with me to the meetings?Scot2019-01-30T08:16:50-05:00
Can I bring the alcoholic with me to the meetings?
Al-Anon is not a program for finding or maintaining sobriety. It is a program to help the families of alcoholics recover from the effects of someone else’s drinking.
Is there a registration process to attend Al-Anon meetings?Scot2019-01-30T08:17:20-05:00
Is there a registration process to attend Al-Anon meetings?
The meetings are on a walk-in basis. Al‑Anon has no membership list, and does not take attendance. You’re welcome to attend as frequently or infrequently as you choose. There is never any obligation. You can choose to share your full name or not.
If I am concerned about someone’s drug use, should I attend Al-Anon?Scot2021-01-08T11:04:34-05:00
If I am concerned about someone’s drug use, should I attend Al-Anon?
Al‑Anon Family Groups have one primary purpose: to help families and friends of alcoholics, however Al‑Anon’s 2018 Membership Survey reported that 35% of Al‑Anon members first came to Al‑Anon because of a relative or friend’s drug problem. The survey also showed that 78% of these members eventually realized that someone’s drinking also negatively affected their lives. You are welcome to try Al‑Anon meetings to see if the program is helpful to you. You may also find help in Nar‑Anon, a program for those affected by someone else’s drug addiction. Visit their web site at: nar‑anon.org.Page load link Go to Top
Al-Anon and Alateen. What's this? – Al-Anon Family Groups
Al-Anon and Alateen. What's this? articles
Administrator 0 Comments
Al-Anon is a Fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share with each other their experience, strength and hope, to solve problems, strength and common. We believe that alcoholism is a family disease, and that a change in attitude can lead to recovery.
Al-Anon is not affiliated with any sect, creed, political group, organization or community; does not participate in polemics on any issues, does not speak out for or against anything. Membership is free. Al-Anon is an organization that exists entirely on the voluntary donations of its members.
Al-Anon has only one goal: to help the families of alcoholics. We help by following the Twelve Steps, by providing shelter and comfort to the families of alcoholics, and by understanding and encouraging the alcoholics themselves. ”
Al-Anon members understand how difficult it is to come to a meeting for the first time. You probably have questions. We are often asked about what a group is and how our meetings work.
Who are the members of the group and why did these people come here?
Al-Anon members come from all walks of life. These are wives, husbands, friends, sisters, brothers, children and parents of alcoholics. We believe that no matter what relationship we have with the drinker, a loved one's drinking has had a profound effect on our lives. In meetings, we share with each other our experience of overcoming difficulties, strength and hope.
How will this help me?
You may hear a story very similar to yours. But even if you do not meet such a person, you will certainly be close to the feelings that many of us experience as a result of the influence of alcoholism of loved ones on our lives. Each of us strives to improve our situation. This path is different for everyone, but anyone with a relative, friend, co-worker, or anyone else's alcoholism problem will find help in Al-Anon.
Is speaking at meetings mandatory?
If you want, you can speak up. If you prefer to sit and listen, please. We try to listen to each other with an open mind and offer everyone: "Accept what you like and forget the rest."
Can someone tell me they saw me here?
Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of our Program. We maintain the anonymity of all members of Al-Anon and AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). We address each other by name, we never talk about the people who were present at the meeting, and we never repeat what we have heard. This ensures the safety of all members of the group.
Is this a religious community?
Al-Anon's program is based on the spiritual idea of relying on a Power greater than ourselves to solve our problems and achieve peace of mind. Each of us is free to define this Power in his own way, as he understands it. People of any religion or atheists can be members of Al-Anon. We make it a point to avoid discussions involving religious beliefs. Al-Anon is a spiritual fellowship, but not a religious one.
Are there professionals, doctors or counselors in Al-Anon?
Al-Anon offers a Self-Help and Mutual Support Program for recovery on a non-professional basis.
Can Al-Anon recommend treatment centers?
Because Al-Anon is a non-professional organization, we do not make any recommendations about sources of help outside of our community. Al-Anon members learn to deal with their problems by relying on their intuition and sharing personal experiences.
How much does it cost?
Al-Anon groups do not have entry or membership fees. In most groups, a "basket" for voluntary donations is handed out at meetings, and each person puts in whatever amount they can contribute. This money is used to pay for the rent of the premises for meetings, to purchase literature approved by the Conference, to support the activities of service structures.
Where do I start?
We, the members of Al-Anon, recommend that you:
- find out the schedule of meetings
- go to meetings
- talk to others before and after meetings
- exchange phone numbers
- read conference-approved literature.
After a while, you may want to ask someone from the experienced group members to be your mentor - someone with whom you can discuss your personal problems in the future.
We offer you friendship and understanding. If you have any questions feel free to ask them.
Other frequently asked questions | Al-Anon - the hope of families and friends of alcoholics
Who are the members of Al-Anon and why did these people come here?
Al-Anon members are relatives and friends of alcoholics who believe that no matter what relationship they have with the drinker, the drinking of a loved one has had a profound effect on them. (Newbie Information S-4)
What is discussed in Al-Anon and Alateen meetings?
At our meetings, fellowship members share their experience, strength, and hope with each other by talking about themselves and Al-Anon's methods. Of paramount importance is the overall well-being of the group and the return of each of us through spiritual growth to a normal way of life. During the discussion of the topic, we talk about the attitude towards our situation and the feelings aroused, and not about the details of this situation. We talk about how a loved one's alcoholism affects our thinking and behavior, and how we change our attitudes and actions by applying the principles of Al-Anon in our daily lives. (Meet Al-Anon RSP-53)
Is it mandatory to speak at meetings?
If you want, you can speak up. If you prefer to sit and listen, please. We try to listen to each other with an open mind, following Al-Anon's recommendation: "Accept what you like and forget the rest. " (Newbie Information S-4)
What are the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions?
The Twelve Steps are the heart of the Al-Anon program, the Twelve Traditions are the foundation of the program. Together, without relying on any religion, they create a spiritual foundation for members of the Al-Anon and Alateen groups. The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions contain principles that lead to spiritual growth by helping each of us understand the kind of people we want to be. (Meet Al-Anon RSP-53)
Is Al-Anon a religious fellowship?
Al-Anon/Alateen is a spiritual fellowship, but not a religious one. The Al-Anon program is based on the spiritual idea that we can rely on the help of a Power greater than ourselves to solve our problems and achieve peace of mind. Each of us is free to define this Power in his own way, as he understands it. We are happy to accept a person, regardless of whether he is an atheist or belongs to any denomination, and we consider it obligatory for ourselves to avoid discussions that affect specific religious beliefs. (Newbie Information S-4)
Can someone tell my family or friends that they saw me at the meeting?
Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of our program. We maintain the anonymity of all members of Al-Anon, Alateen (groups for teenagers affected by the drinking of loved ones) and AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). We address each other by name, we don't talk about who we met in the group, and we don't retell what we heard in the meeting. This ensures the safety of members of all fellowships. (Newbie Information S-4)
Does Al-Anon have professional counselors and doctors?
In Al-Anon, each member of the group, regardless of their specialty, helps themselves and others by applying the ideas of our self-help program to life. Al-Anon is not run by professionals and is not intended to replace professional help. (Newbie Information S-4)
How much does it cost to attend meetings?
Al-Anon and Alateen have no entry or membership fees.