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.
Alateen is our recovery program for young people. Alateen groups are sponsored by Al-Anon members. The only requirement for membership is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend.
Find local meeting times and places by selecting your area in the map below.
Almost all of us had questions before coming to our first meeting, but we all took that small step to recovery and decided to come. Many of us still come back years later because the meetings help us heal and offer hope.
Please read the questions below to understand what happens at a meeting. Please feel free to email us if you have any additional questions. Perhaps we can help you decide if Al-Anon is for you.
Remember you are not alone. There is always hope.
Al-Anon has thousands of members from every walk of life. No matter what your relationship to the alcoholic, you will find someone else in a similar situation. We all have husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, grandparents, great grandparents and close friends who are alcoholics. We all share a common bond: to heal from the affects of another person’s drinking.
Meetings are held at local schools, churches and hospitals. Meetings are held 7 days a week, both day and night. Meetings offer a safe place where people can come and talk about dealing with the effects of alcoholism in a friend or loved one.
All meetings start at a specific time; most last about an hour or so; some have no formal closing time. You can come into a meeting or leave anytime you choose. Many members come early to greet newcomers and talk to friends, and stay after the meeting to socialize and answer questions. Newcomers walk away from a meeting with Al-Anon literature, which has lots of useful information about dealing with alcoholism in a relative or close friend, and a list of local meetings, together with a list of phone numbers of members in the group who they can contact between meetings, if they need help.
Talking at a meeting is your choice. You do not have to speak, but many newcomers have found it helpful to finally share with others what was going on and how someone else’s drinking is affecting them. You are sharing in a safe place where your anonymity and privacy will be respected. You talk only when you feel ready to share. Sometimes newcomers like to talk privately with one or two Al-Anon members before or after a meeting. Whatever you feel comfortable with is ok by us.
In general, there is a different topic discussed each week at a meeting. Topics help us: get in touch with our feelings, detach from the alcoholic, stop feeling like we’re always the victim, set boundaries with others, identify abuse, get rid of our anger and deal with our resentments. Topics also help us: have healthy relationships with others, raise our self-esteem, face our fears, and deal with our anxiety and depression.
As individuals go around the room sharing on topics and their own situations, you may hear a little bit about yourself in their stories. While you may not identify with everything, in general you will hear others talk about what you may be feeling. Listening to someone else has helped many of us learn about ourselves. Please attend at least 6 meetings so you can decide if Al-Anon is for you. It’s important to find somewhere that you feel comfortable, so we also suggest that you attend different meetings because each meeting has its own style and personality.
We place a high importance on anonymity at all our meetings because this makes our meetings a safe place to share. We only go by first names. No one needs to know that you are attending meetings, unless you choose to tell them. What is said in the rooms, what you hear in the rooms, whom you see in the rooms, stays in the rooms. This is one way we protect our anonymity.
Al-Anon’s program of recovery is based on the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. The Steps are the foundation for personal recovery and the Traditions help groups sustain their unity and fellowship.
Access to Area, District, and Group Serving Member Resources is password protected to preserve the anonymity of serving members.
Click to go to the Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. online store.
Al-Anon’s Twelve Steps, copyright 1996 by Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. Reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.
Al-Anon’s Twelve Traditions, copyright 1996 by Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. Reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.
Al-Anon’s Twelve Concepts of Service, copyright 1996 by Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. Reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.