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 an alcoholic. 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 alcohol abuse, 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 in a similar situation 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 recovery 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 30 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.