Al-Anon

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Last Edited: November 16, 2020

Author
Claudia Rose

Clinically Reviewed
Mark Frey, LPCC, LICDC, NCC

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and certified by an addiction professional.

What is the Al-Anon Fellowship?

The Al-Anon Fellowship adopted the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and their traditions to help their loved ones with their addiction and create a deeper understanding of the problems alcoholics are dealing with.

Al‑Anon Family Groups was founded in 1951, with the intentions of offering hope and guidance for families and friends of alcoholics. This fellowship has been a beacon of hope for the families struggling to understand their loved one’s addiction.

Al-anon also developed another support group called Alateen in 1957 for the youth of alcoholics.  Six teenagers  gathered together to discuss the difficulties and struggles with parents who are suffering from alcoholism.  It has been a long road to recovery, but those who have benefited from the Al-anon fellowship can provide their loved ones with the love and support they need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Alcoholism is a disease, a progressive illness, which can never be cured but which, like some other diseases, can be arrested. Many AA members feel that the illness represents the combination of a physical sensitivity to alcohol and a mental obsession with drinking, which, regardless of consequences, cannot be broken by willpower alone.

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.

No. 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.

Al-Anon Fellowship Traditions and Values

Al-Anon Fellowship is an independent fellowship with the goals of helping relatives and friends of alcoholics share their experience, strength, and hope in order to understand alcoholism as a family illness.

Like other fellowships, Al-Anon is not allied with any political entity, sect, organization, denomination, or institution. Nor do they engage in any controversy issues related to alcoholism or endorses nor opposes any cause. There are no fees or dues for membership and the fellowship is entirely self-supporting through its own voluntary contributions within the group.

Alateen Fellowship: Support for the Children and Teenagers of Alcoholics

Al-Anon also developed another support group called Alateen in 1957 for the youth of alcoholics.  A teenager named Bob and five others would get together to discuss the difficulties and struggles with parents who are suffering from alcoholism. It is theorized that each person trying to control their addiction to alcohol affects the lives of at least four other people. Al-Anon/Alateen believes alcoholism is a family disease that requires patience, love, and support to overcome. No matter what relationship you have with an alcoholic, those who have been affected by someone else’s drinking can find support in the Al-Anon/Alateen fellowship.

Al‑Anon’s Brief History in Time

Al‑Anon Family Groups was founded in 1951, with the intentions of offering hope and guidance for families and friends of alcoholics. Al-Anon was co-founded by Anne B. and Lois W. (wife of AA co-founder Bill W.) 16 years after the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous. Before Al-Anon was established, independent groups of families of alcoholics met to discuss their struggling with their loved ones battling their addiction to alcohol.

Al-Anon Family Groups is a spiritual fellowship, not a religious one.  The 12 Steps ask 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.

The Al-Anon Fellowship adopted the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and their traditions to help their loved ones with their addiction and create a deeper understanding of the problems alcoholics are dealing with.

Al‑Anon Family Groups has published more than 100 pieces of literature that helps friends and family recover from the effects of someone else’s alcohol consumption.

These pamphlets compliment the meetings that are available and can be used to supplement the face-to-face meetings if they cannot find one to attend. Al‑Anon members share their insights and experiences with one another at meetings to help create an understanding and to provide support for those struggling with their loved one’s addiction.

Disclaimer: DetoxtoRehab.com is in no way affiliated with Al-Anon Anonymous nor do we receive funding from the organization for endorsing their fellowship. Our goal is to educate those in need about aftercare programs that help maintain sobriety and help those struggling with addiction find a meeting. Please attend an Al-Anon meeting for literature or visit their website for more information.