Are you troubled by someone's drinking? Al-Anon is for YOU!
Millions of people are affected by the excessive drinking of someone close. The following questions are designed to help you decide whether or not you need Al-Anon:
Do you worry about how much someone else drinks?
Do you have money problems because of someone else's drinking?
Do you tell lies to cover up for someone else's drinking?
Do you feel that if the drinker cared about you, he or she would stop drinking to please you?
Do you blame the drinker's behavior on his or her companions?
Are plans frequently upset or canceled or meals delayed because of the drinker?
Do you make threats, such as, “If you don’t stop drinking, I’ll leave you”?
Do you secretly try to smell the drinker’s breath?
Are you afraid to upset someone for fear it will set off a drinking bout?
Have you been hurt or embarrassed by a drinker’s behavior?
Are holidays and gatherings spoiled because of drinking?
Have you considered calling the police for help in fear of abuse?
Do you search for hidden alcohol?
Do you ever ride in a car with a driver who has been drinking?
Have you refused social invitations out of fear or anxiety?
Do you feel like a failure because you can’t control the drinking?
Do you think that if the drinker stopped drinking, your other problems would be solved?
Do you ever threaten to hurt yourself to scare the drinker?
Do you feel angry, confused, or depressed most of the time?
Do you feel there is no one who understands your problems?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, Al-Anon or Alateen may be able to help. Use the resources on this website to help you find a meeting location near your home.
Did you grow up with a problem drinker?
Do you constantly seek approval and affirmation?
Do you fail to recognize your accomplishments?
Do you fear criticism
Do you overextend yourself?
Have you had problems with your own compulsive behavior?
Do you have a need for perfection?
Are you uneasy when your life is going smoothly, continually anticipating problems?
Do you feel alive in the midst of a crisis?
Do you still feel responsible for others, as you did for the problem drinker in your life?
Do you care for others easily, yet find it difficult to care for yourself?
Do you isolate yourself from other people?
Do you respond with fear to authority figures and angry people?
Do you feel that individuals and society in general are taking advantage of you?
Do you have trouble with intimate relationships?
Do you confuse pity with love, as you did with the problem drinker?
Do you attract and/or seek people who tend to be compulsive and/or abusive?
Do you cling to relationships because you are a afraid of being alone?
Do you often mistrust your own feelings and the feelings of others?
Do you find it difficult to express your emotions?
Do you think someone’s drinking may have affected you?
Frequently asked questions
What is Al-Anon? The Al-Anon Family Groups, which includes Alateen, are a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength, and hope in order to solve their common problems. We believe alcoholism is a family illness and that changed attitudes can aid recovery
How Will Al-Anon Help Me? 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.
Who Are the Members of Al-Anon/Altateen? Al-Anon and Alateen members are people just like you and me–people who have been affected by someone else's drinking. They are parents, children, spouses, partners, brothers, sisters, other family members, friends, employers, employees, and coworkers of alcoholics. No matter what our specific experience has been we share a common bond: we feel our lives have been affected by someone else's drinking.
Do I have to say anything at a meeting? 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.
Will anyone say I've been there? One of the Al-Anon program's basic principles is that of anonymity. Meetings are confidential, and we do not disclose whom we see or what we hear at meetings to anyone.
How much is this going to cost? 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, so that the group can pay rent, provide literature, and offer support to local and worldwide service centers.
Is this a religious fellowship? Al-Anon Family Groups is a spiritual fellowship, not a religious one. We avoid discussion of 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 his or her own way.
What is alcoholism? Alcoholism is widely recognized as a disease of compulsive drinking, which can be arrested, but not cured. It is a progressive illness, which will get only worse as long as the person continues to drink. Total abstinence from drinking is the only way to arrest the disease. Alcoholism affects the entire family; indeed, everyone who has contact with the alcoholic is affected. Unfortunately, the only person who can stop the alcoholic from drinking is the alcoholic himself or herself.
Who are alcoholics? They could be anyone, from all backgrounds and walks of life. Over 95 percent of alcoholics have families, friends, and jobs. They may function fairly well, but some part of their life is suffering. Their drinking causes a continuing and growing problem in their lives, and the lives they touch.
How do alcoholics affect families and friends? Alcoholism is a family disease. The disease affects all those who have a relationship with a problem drinker. Those of us closest to the alcoholic suffer the most, and those who care the most can easily get caught up in the behavior of another person. We react to the alcoholic's behavior. We focus on them, what they do, where they are, how much they drink. We try to control their drinking for them. We take on the blame, guilt, and shame that really belong to the drinker. We can become as addicted to the alcoholic, as the alcoholic is to alcohol. We, too, can become ill.
How will Al-Anon help me? 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.
How do I find a meeting? This website maintains a complete Meeting List. You may search for meetings by location, type of meeting, time of meeting, and other criteria.