We suggest that you encourage your clients to try Al-Anon, even if they minimize the problem with alcohol. The 2021 Al-Anon membership survey shows that of the 10,848 members who reported receiving treatment prior to attending Al-Anon, 41 percent were referred to the program by a professional. No advance notification or written referral is necessary to attend an Al-Anon or Alateen meeting. Anyone affected by someone else’s drinking is welcome to attend. There are no dues or fees for membership.
- 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.
Anyone is welcome to visit an “open” meeting. This will be designated as “Families, Friends, & Observers Welcome” on the meetings page of the Al-Anon MA website. Closed meetings are 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.
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 and Alateen program is not anonymous. We encourage the spreading of information about the availability of Al-Anon and Alateen meetings.
To speak to someone about Al-Anon in Massachusetts, contact the office Monday–Friday, 9:00–4:00. Call (508) 366-0556 or
For more resources for professionals visit the Al-Anon World Service website’s page for professionals.