What is Alateen?

Alateen is Al-Anon’s recovery program for young people (mostly teenagers up to age 19 years) who are living with or affected by the problem drinking of another person. In Alateen, as in Al-Anon, members share their experience, strength, and hope with each other. We do not tell others what to do about their own personal situation. In Alateen, you will meet other young people who share similar feelings and experiences, even if not your exact situation. If you are “Alateen-age” and you feel you are affected by another person’s drinking, you are welcome in Alateen, whether you think the person is an “alcoholic” or not, whether the person is still drinking or has stopped drinking, whether or not the person is living with you or not, and whether the person is directly related to you or not.

Alateen meetings are free. There are no dues or fees for membership, although meetings will generally “pass a basket” for voluntary contributions. You do not need to register or sign up to attend; you can just find a meeting and come.  You do not need written permission to attend.  Everything said in Alateen meetings should be kept confidential. No attendance list is kept and no reports of attendance are made. Michigan District 5 Alateen meetings are included on our meetings page.

The World Service Office does not register Alateen “on line” meetings, due to concerns of the teens’ safety from potential Internet predators.  Any “on line” meetings, chat rooms or bulletin boards that call themselves “Alateen” are not sanctioned by, registered with, or in any way monitored by the Al-Anon World Service Office.

The age range of Alateen members varies between different meetings and different areas. Some meetings have a lower age limit of 12 or 13; some accept children under age 12. The upper age limit for Alateen may be 18 to 21, again depending on the meeting and area. When Alateen members reach the upper age limit for Alateen, they are encouraged to attend regular Al-Anon or Al-Anon Adult Children meetings, where they will be welcome! The pamphlet, Moving On! From Alateen to Al-Anon describes transitioning from Alateen to Al-Anon, and may be available at local Alateen or Al-Anon meetings, from the Literature Distribution Center (LDC) (please see our contact us page to contact the District 5 LDC), or it may be ordered from the Alateen literature area of the Al-Anon World Services website.

The Alateen program is not designed to help teenagers, who may have an alcohol problem themselves, stop drinking. Teenagers who want help to stop drinking are welcome in Alcoholics Anonymous. However, Alateen welcomes teenagers who are affected by another person’s drinking, and who also are or may be alcoholics.