Al-Anon Family Groups, which include Alateen, was established in 1951 as a community resource providing support to those affected by someone else’s drinking. Today, there are over 14,000 Al-Anon and Alateen groups meeting in 133 countries. Our meetings are anonymous and confidential. There are no dues or fees for membership.

Defining Al-Anon/Alateen


  • Is for families and friends of alcoholics
  • Is a separate fellowship from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
  • Al-Anon is based on the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions adapted from AA
  • Is compatible with professional treatment


  • Is part of the Al-Anon fellowship designed for the younger relatives and friends of alcoholics through age 19
  • Members conduct their own meetings with the guidance of an Al-Anon members who are Alateen group sponsors
  • Follows the same Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, and Twelve Concepts as Al-Anon

Al-Anon and Alateen groups and members do not:

  • Give advice
  • Indulge in gossip or criticism
  • Discuss members’ religious beliefs, or lack of them
  • Endorse or oppose any cause, therapy, or treatment

Al-Anon/Alateen members are helped when they:

  • Attend meetings on a regular basis
  • Make telephone contact with other members
  • Read Al-Anon/Alateen literature
  • Have another Al-Anon/Alateen member as a sponsor
  • Apply the Twelve Steps of recovery to their lives
  • Become involved in Al-Anon/Alateen service work

Visit a meeting

Professionals may attend “open” Al-Anon meetings. An open Al-Anon meeting welcomes members and prospective members and allows attendance by people who are not families and friends of alcoholics but who are interested in learning about Al-Anon Family Groups.

Generally, Al-Anon group meetings are “closed,” limited to members and prospective members, giving them the freedom to share and listen to the experience, strength, and hope of one another on a confidential and anonymous basis.

The printed meeting book and Web listing of meetings indicates whether meetings are open or closed.

Remember anonymity

Al-Anon is an anonymous fellowship. This means that anyone attending a meeting is asked to keep confidential the identities of individuals seen and everything shared in the meeting.

We always protect our members’ anonymity, but the Al-Anon/Alateen program is not anonymous. We encourage the spreading of information about the availability of Al-Anon/Alateen meetings.