What is Al-Anon?
Al-Anon is a mutual support group for people whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking. We charge no dues or fees and we are not part of any other organization or institution. Although the details of our stories differ, we come together as equals and find help and support by sharing our experience, strength, and hope.
Some come to Al-Anon because of the alcoholism of a partner, others because of the problem drinking of a parent, child, sibling, or close friend. Many of us have several alcoholics in our lives, past or present.
Alcoholism affects not only the drinkers, but everyone around them. Whether the alcoholics in our lives are still drinking or not, Al-Anon and Alateen provide tools that can help us find serenity and improve all our relationships.
The best way to learn more about Al-Anon and to get answers to your questions is to come to a meeting. But on this page you’ll also find plenty of information about the program and how it works.
Is Al-Anon for Me?
See if any of these questions speak to you:
- Are you troubled by someone else’s drinking?
- Has your life been affected by someone else’s drinking?
- Did you grow up with a problem drinker?
If these questions hit home, consider learning more about Al-Anon/Alateen.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many newcomers have questions about how Al-Anon works, what our meetings are like, what “alcoholism” means, and whether they will be welcome if they’re concerned about someone’s drug use. The Al-Anon World Service Office has provided a document that answers these questions and more.
How can I help my…?
- …alcoholic partner or spouse?
- …alcoholic child?
- …alcoholic parent?
- …alcoholic sibling?
- …grandchild in an alcoholic home?
- …alcoholic friend?
Anonymity is at the very heart of the Al-Anon program, protecting the privacy both of members, their family, and their friends. At in-person meetings, you will often see a card on a table like the one pictured here. As it says in our Twelfth Tradition:
Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles above personalities.
Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism
The Al-Anon World Service Office provides a number of resources for professionals whose clients may have been affected by alcoholism. These include our publication Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism, a free magazine with articles both from professionals and program members detailing their experiences using the program inside and outside of a therapeutic context.