Alateen and Al-Anon Resources
Addiction is known as a “family disease”. This is because it doesn’t just affect the addict or alcoholic. Loved ones of the addict/alcoholic are often caught up in the destruction as well. Luckily there are groups that address the family members of an alcoholic or addict specifically. Alateen and Al-Anon resources can be very helpful to the families of recovering alcoholics.
The family group idea is nearly as old as Alcoholics Anonymous. Early AA members and their wives visited AA groups around the country. The visiting wives often told the mates of the newer members of Alcoholics Anonymous about how they benefited from trying to live by AA’s Twelve Steps, and how it had helped to improve family relationships that often remained difficult after the alcoholic had become sober. Al-anon was founded in 1951, and the Twelve Steps were adopted as guiding principles.
Teenage children in the families of alcoholics soon realized that their problems differed from those of adult members. In 1957, Alateen grew out of this need. There are now over 1,700 Alateen groups worldwide.
Alateen and Al-Anon Resources: On the Web
Local Alateen and Al-Anon resources can be found through the website at http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/. The website can tell you about group meetings, what you can expect, and where to find a meeting in your area. Group members share their experience, strength, and hope with each other. Anyone who has been affected by another person’s drinking or drug use is welcome to join. There are no dues or fees in Alateen and Al-Anon meetings.
There are also a number of on-line meetings that can be used to supplement attendance at regular face-to-face meetings.
Alateen and Al-Anon Resources: On the phone
Alateen and Al-Anon meetings can also be found by calling the hotline at 888-4AL-ANON (888-425-2666) from 8 am to 8pm ET, Monday through Friday. There are also phone meetings which, like the online meetings, can be used to supplement regular face-to-face Alateen and Al-Anon meetings.
Alateen and Al-Anon Resources: Starting your own group
If there is no Alateen or Al-Anon group in your community, you may want to start one, along with one or two other people who need and want help. Any two or more relatives or friends of alcoholics who meet to solve their common problems may call themselves and Al-Anon or Alateen group, provided they have no other affiliation is a group.
You must decide on a group meeting place, day, and time. Then contact the World Service Office at Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. announcing your decision to start a group. You will be given registration information and instructions on how to complete it. The form can be downloaded from the website. When your group is registered, a group number is assigned and a packet containing introductory materials will be sent to the group’s current mailing address. After the registration process is completed the group contacts the local district or Al-Anon Information Service (AIS) to be included in the local meeting directory and the area web site.