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What is Al-anon?

How Does Al-anon Work?

Few people know that Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A) meetings happen worldwide. A.A. is a group of people who help people recovering from alcoholism and who want to live a life of sobriety. Even though alcoholism doesn't just affect the person who drinks, it also affects the people in their lives.

Another group, Al-Anon, is for people with a friend or family member who is drinking or has been drinking and needs help.


Al-Anon was started in 1951 as a worldwide fellowship for the families and friends of alcoholics. So whether or not the alcoholic realizes they have a drinking problem or seeks help, Al-Anon can help.

The meetings of Al-Anon, like A.A., are open to anyone who wants to come. None of the people who belong to Al-Anon shows up.

People who go to AA can come as often or as little as they want. This is true for Al-Anon as well. Members can choose to share their full name or not.


Meetings are private, and the people in the community don't talk to anyone else about whom they see or hear at meetings.

There are many reasons why people don't want to go to their first meeting, and giving them protection and a safe place to be vulnerable without being judged helps them heal.

The History of Al-anon and Ala-teen

Al-Anon was co-founded by Anne B. and Lois W. in 1951, 16 years after Alcoholics Anonymous was founded on June 10, 1935.

Before Al-Anon, families of alcoholics met together in separate groups. These groups could be combined, and Lois was the one to do it.

Bill thought that this was a good idea. Soon after, Al-Anon used the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, except for the Twelfth Step.

They changed the word "alcoholics" to "others." When a teenager named Bob and five other young people who had been affected by their family member's alcoholism started Ala-teen in 1957.

It was part of Al-Anon. Ala-teen started when Bob and the other young people met.

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Expert Contributor

Dr. Williams presently serves on the board of Directors for two non-profit service organizations. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University, Philadelphia, Pa, and a Ph.D. with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and University. In Cincinnati, Ohio. He is licensed to practice addictions counseling in both New Jersey and Connecticut and has a pending application as a practicing Psychologist in New Jersey.

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What are the Purpose of Al-anon Meetings?

Al-Anon is only there to help the families of people who drink. In Al-Anon, the Twelve Steps are used. Al-Anon welcomes and comforts the families of people who drink too much and encourages the alcoholic.

It is essential to know that Al-Anon is not an intervention program, and the group's primary goal is not to stop someone else from drinking too much.

Al-Anon is for the person who goes, not the alcoholic.

This is because they are the only person who can stop the alcoholic from drinking, and that person is the alcoholic.

Many people think they can help someone who drinks by giving them a "good reason" not to. But unfortunately, if someone wants to change, this isn't always happening.

The truth is that more than 95% of alcoholics have family, friends, and jobs.

They may get by, but some part of their life is hurting. Their drinking is a problem for them and the people they care about.

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Does Al-anon Help?

Women are getting help from Al-anon meetings. It's common for people who come to Al-Anon and Ala-teen to be hopeless and not believe that things will change for them or the people they love.

Each person in Al-Anon and Ala-teen tells about their own life experiences, strength, and hopes to the other people in the groups. This group lets people meet people who have the same feelings and problems.

Having an outlet and a group of people to turn to can keep the relationship with the alcoholic from spreading to other parts of your life, like your job or your family.


In Al-Anon, people come together to learn how to live better and find happiness, whether or not the alcoholic is still drinking.

It is more likely that the alcoholic will stay clean if their spouse is in Al-Anon and they are in A.A., so both of them are more likely to be happy in their marriage.


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Fighting Back to Succeed in Al-anon

A family member can get alcoholism, too. It affects everyone who has a relationship with someone who drinks too much.


If you care about an alcoholic, you can quickly get caught up in their bad behavior. These people may be too focused on the addict, what they do, where they are, and how much they drink.

Lovers may try to keep the alcoholic from drinking too much and then get angry when they sneak drinks or don't listen to them.


They take the blame, guilt, and shame that should be theirs. Al-Anon tries to help people separate from these feelings and set healthy boundaries.

Helping an alcoholic can make people addicted to it as alcohol is to them. This can happen if they are close to the addict.

Many Al-Anon members have had to deal with alcoholism for a long time. I think about how things will worsen rather than how things could get better.


This is why it's so easy to think of many reasons not to go to an Al-Anon meeting. Many people have been afraid to go to their first meeting.

Getting over this reluctance is a chance for personal growth, the first of many that the Al-Anon program offers. As a person who goes to Al-Anon, this is the first step to getting better.


Al-Anon is a group for people who love alcoholics and want to help them control what they can. This means taking care of themselves and not letting alcoholism's adverse effects bring them down.


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How does Al-anon work?
The history of Al-anon and Ala-teen
What are the purpose of Al-anon meetings?
Does Al-anon help?
Fighting back to succeed in Ala-non
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