What is Al-Anon?

The Al-Anon Family Groups (AFG) 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.

Al-Anon is not allied with any sect, denomination, political entity, organization, or institution; does not engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any cause. There are no dues for membership. Al-Anon is self-supporting through its own voluntary contributions.

Al-Anon has but one purpose: to help families of alcoholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps, by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholics, and by giving understanding and encouragement to the alcoholic.

Suggested Al-Anon Preamble to the Twelve Steps. 2005. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of ©Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.

 Al-Anon is a worldwide fellowship that offers a program of recovery for the families and friends of alcoholics, whether or not the alcoholic recognizes the existence of a drinking problem or seeks help. Members give and receive comfort and understanding through a mutual exchange of experience, strength and hope. Sharing of similar problems binds individuals and groups together in a bond that is protected by a tradition of anonymity.

Al-Anon is not a religious organization or a counseling agency. It is not a treatment center nor is it allied with any other organization offering such services. Al-Anon Family Groups, which includes Alateen for young members, usually teenagers, neither express opinions on outside issues nor endorse outside enterprises. No dues or fees are required. Membership is voluntary, requiring only that one’s own life has been adversely affected by someone else’s drinking problem.

From the Al-Anon pamphlet, “Detachment” (S-19).
Reprinted with permission of ©Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.

Who is Al-Anon for? Who attends Al-Anon meetings? Are there requirements for membership in Al-Anon?

“Al-Anon is a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics, who believe their lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking.”  Al-Anon’s Third Tradition includes the statement, “The only requirement for membership is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend.” Al-Anon is open to any one who has been affected in any way by the problem drinking of another person.   There is no other requirement for participation.  You do not need to be certain whether or not you belong in order to attend.  You do not need to be certain whether or not the problem drinker is an alcoholic. If you think Al-Anon may possibly be right for you, you will be welcome.