Al‑Anon is a mutual support program for people whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking. By sharing common experiences and applying the Al-Anon principles, families and friends of alcoholics can bring positive changes to their individual situations. Whether or not the alcoholic admits the existence of a drinking problem or seeks help.
Alateen is part of the Al-Anon Family Groups. This is a fellowship of young people (mostly teenagers) whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking, whether they are in your life drinking or not. By attending Alateen, teenagers meet other teenagers with similar situations. Alateen is not a religious program, and there are no fees or dues to belong to it.
Our personal situations may differ, but we share as equals because of what we have in common: our lives have been affected by another person’s drinking.
Al-Anon is a mutual support group.
We can find understanding and support when we share our common experiences with each other. Some of us are here because a spouse or partner has struggled with alcoholism. For others, the problem drinker is a parent, child, or grandchild. Sometimes a brother, a sister, or some other friend or relative brings us to Al-Anon. Many of us have had more than one alcoholic family member or friend.
Alcoholism has similar effects on us all, even though our relationships with the alcoholic may be different. Many newcomers are most interested in hearing about situations and relationships that are similar to their own. Over time, however, we understand that we can benefit from hearing how the Al-Anon principles worked in many different circumstance
Al-Anon Family Groups is a spiritual fellowship, not a religious one. We avoid discussing 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 their own way.
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 to pay rent, provide literature, and offer support to local and worldwide service centers.
Feel free to attend any meeting. While each meeting may have a title or a theme, they all follow the same process and always welcome newcomers. You may choose to attend several different meetings in your area until you find the one that fits you or choose to attend more than one. All Al-Anon meetings are without religious affiliation or any fees. Click the Meeting Schedule to find the meeting that works for your location, date, and time. If you have questions, call us at the number at the top of the page.
Want to read more about what you're experiencing and how Al-Anon can help? Stop by a meeting and pick up the Welcome Newcomers packet (see image) that includes valuable information about Al-Anon, Alateen and insight into how alcoholism affects us all. You can also have one delivered to you at a nominal fee.
The above content is excerpted from the Al-Anon Family Group pages. You can read more here: https://al-anon.org/newcomers/faq/