How does Al-Anon work?

There is no magic formula that enables you to help someone stop—or cut back—on his or her drinking. Alcoholism is a complex problem, with many related issues. But Al‑Anon can help you learn how to cope with the challenges of someone else’s drinking.

Newcomers to Al-Anon are often interested in learning from members whose personal situations most closely resemble theirs. After attending Al-Anon meetings, they begin to understand how much they have in common with everyone affected by someone else’s drinking, regardless of the specific details of their personal situation.

It may be that you could help matters by changing some of your own behaviors that make things worse. It may be possible for you to find a healthier way to respond to these challenges. Again, there are no easy answers.  But Al‑Anon meetings offer the opportunity to learn from the experiences of others who have faced similar problems.

While simple problems may have simple solutions, the solution to complex problems is more difficult to explain. Al‑Anon simplifies a complex problem by suggesting a “One Day at a Time” approach, which takes things one step at a time.

At every Al‑Anon meeting, you can hear people explain how Al‑Anon worked for them. That may be the best place to start to learn about Al‑Anon—One Day at a Time.

Al‑Anon members come to understand problem drinking as a family illness that affects everyone in the family. By listening to Al‑Anon members speak at Al‑Anon meetings, you can hear how they came to understand their own role in this family illness. This insight put them in a better position to play a positive role in the family’s future.

Some research shows that when problem drinkers enter a recovery program, their chances for success are improved when they are supported by family members who are in a family recovery program such as Al‑Anon.

 

Newcomers to Al-Anon are often interested in learning from members whose personal situations most closely resemble theirs. After attending Al-Anon meetings, they begin to understand how much they have in common with everyone affected by someone else’s drinking, regardless of the specific details of their personal situation.

 

 

Our Mission

In Al-Anon/Alateen, members do not give direction or advice to other members. Instead, they share their personal experiences and stories, and invite other members to “take what they like and leave the rest”—that is, to determine for themselves what lesson they could apply to their own lives.

The best place to learn how Al-Anon/Alateen works is at a meeting in your local community. Personal contact is an important element in the healing process. These Web page selections may give you some encouragement to visit your first meeting.

 

I couldn’t believe others were going through the same struggles that I was going through! This meeting was not a group of complainers, but rather a room full of people authentically sharing their experience, strength and hope.
After a few months of attending weekly meetings and working with an Al‑Anon Sponsor, my loved ones started to notice changes in me. Consequently, the changes occurred not just in me but in those around me too. My relationships began to improve because of the healthy boundaries I was learning to set. My husband even reinvigorated his own Twelve Step program.
I have learned not only to like myself, but also to love who I really am. When I’m among my Al‑Anon family, I feel most like my true self. After learning in the program that I have choices, I’m grateful that attending Al‑Anon is one of the choices I made.
— 2018 Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism- Holly E., Georgia