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About Al-Anon & Alateen – Support For Family Members Of Alcoholics

Al-Anon is a worldwide, non-profit organization designed to help people involved in relationships with an alcoholic. Most people who are related to an alcoholic in some form need help to cope with the problems and stress.

  • Al-Anon is a free support group that helps wives, parents, and friends of alcoholics.

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 began in 1951, 16 years after Alcoholics Anonymous. Anne B. co-founded Al-Anon, and Lois W. was the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) 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, as a program, Al-Anon recognizes that the friends and families of alcoholics are often traumatized and need emotional support and understanding.

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

Alateen is 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 part of 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. Alateen’s 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


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