AlANON/ALATEEN, known as Al-Anon Family Groups, is an international "fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics
who share their experiences, strength and hope in order to solve their common problems."
They "help families of alcoholics, and by giving comfort to families of alcoholics, and by giving understanding
and encouragement to the alcoholic."
Go From Alanon To Alcoholic Anonymous
Alateen is part of Al-Anon and is their Twelve-step program of recovery for young people affected by another's drinking,
generally aged 13 to 19 years. "Alateen groups are sponsored by Al-Anon members."
Al-Anon was formed in 1951 by Lois Wilson, wife of Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) co-founder Bill Wilson.
She recognized the need for such an organization as family members living with AA members began to
identify their own pathologies associated with their family members' alcoholism.
Al-Anon adapted the Twelve Steps from Alcoholic Anonymous replacing 'alcoholic' with "others' in the last step,
In the USA, Al-Anon Family Groups incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization called
Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. Alateen took its name and formation in 1957
The Al-Anon and Alateen literature focuses on problems common to family members and friends of alcoholics
(loyalty to those who are abusive, excessive care-taking, inability to differentiate love and pity) rather
than problems of alcoholic.
Meetings are usually small (five to twenty-five in attendance), in larger meetings members often split
into smaller groups after the opening readings so thar everyone will have a chance to speak
Meetings may begin with the Suggested Al-Anon/Alateen Welcome which starts out:
We welcome to the _____________________Al-Anon Family Group and hope you will find in
this fellowship the help and friendship we have been privileged to enoy.
We who live, or have lived, with the problem of alcoholism understand as perhaps few
others can. We, too, were lonely and frustrated, but in Al-Anon we discover that no
situation is really hopeless, and that it is possible for us to find contentment, and
even happiness, whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not
Al-Anon acknowledges rhat members begin with low self-esteem, but teaches that this is
largely a side effect of unrealistically overestimating their personal agency and control.
Specifically this is in relation to member's attempts to control another person's
drinking behavior and, when they fail, blaming themselves for the other person's
As family members of alcoholics learn to recognize the pathologies in their
families, assign the responsibility of the pathologies to a disease, forgive
themselves, accept their family member's shortcoming, they begin to improve.
When an alcoholic's spouse is active in Al-Anon and the alcoholic is active in AA,
not only is the alcoholic more likely to be abstinent but marital happiness improves
and both the alcoholic and their spouse become better parents.
Participation in Al-Anon has also been associated with less personal blame among
females who, as a whole, engage in mre initial personal blame for the drinking
Although AlAnon emphasizes alcoholism cannot be arrested by its members' intervention,
analysis of methods used by Concerned Significant Others (CSOs) to encourage
alcoholics to seek treatment has shown participation in Al-Anon to be effective towards
The Community Reinforcement and Family Training approach (CRAFT), however, has been
shown to be significantly more effective than Al-Anon participation for this purpose.
Spouses of alcoholics wait, on average, seven years before making an intervention.
AlAnon is open to all family members and friends of alcoholics, but is primarily composed
of female partners/spouses of alcoholics. Groups focusing on adult children of alcoholics are
becoming more common.