About Al-Anon & Alateen

Al-Anon is a worldwide, non-profit organization designed to help people who are involved in relationships with an alcoholic or drug addict. Most people who are related to an addict or an alcohol in some form, need help to cope with the problems and stress. Al-Anon is a free support group which helps wives, parents and friends of addicts or alcoholics.

What is Al-Anon?

The name “Al‑Anon” is a combination of the first portion of the words (Al)coholics (Anon)ymous. Al-Anon defines itself as an independent fellowship with the stated purpose of “helping relatives and friends of alcoholics”. Al-Anon is a free nationwide network of support groups for people in relationships with alcoholics. It offers strength and hope for friends and families of problem drinkers”. Al-Anon was formed in 1951, 16 years after Alcoholics Anonymous was founded. Al-Anon was co-founded by Anne B. and Lois W. Lois W. was the wife of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) co-founder Bill Wilson. Al-Anon uses the same 12-Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, substituting “others’ for alcohol.

Many people come to Al-Anon to get help in stopping someone else’s drinking. However, Al-Anon, as a program, recognizes that the friends and families of alcoholics are often traumatized themselves, and in need of emotional support and understanding.

Al-Anon History

Al-Anon was founded in 1951, by Anne B. and Lois Wilson. Lois was the wife of Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson. It was Bill Wilson’s idea to consolidate some informal get-togethers by the families of AA members and suggested to his wife she should be the one to do it.

Al-Anon Meeting Information

click here to find an Al-anon meeting anywhere in the world

more Al-Anon meeting information

Q & A About Al-Anon

Al-Anon Online Meeting Information


Alateen is a part of Al-Anon.

Alateen offers “hope and help for younger family members and friends of alcoholics”.

Alateen is part of Al‑Anon Family Groups. Alateen is a fellowship of young Al-Anon members, usually teenagers, whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking. Alateen groups are sponsored by Al-Anon members who help the group to stay on track. It began in California in 1957, when a teenager named “Bob” joined with five other young people who had been affected by the alcoholism of a family member. Alateens come together to:

  • share experiences, strength, and hope with each other
  • discuss difficulties
  • learn effective ways to cope with problems
  • encourage one another
  • help each other understand the principles of the Al-Anon program
  • learn how to use the Twelve Steps and Alateen’s Twelve Traditions


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About the author

Robert M. has been in recovery since 1988. He is a sponsor and loyal member of AA. He has been working in the drug and alcohol field for nearly 20 years. During that time, he has written industry blogs and articles for a variety of industry websites including Transitions, Malibu Horizons, Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches and Lifeskills of Boca Raton.


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