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All About Al-Anon Meetings

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Terri needs support. But it’s not because she’s an alcoholic. It’s because she’s married to one.

She’s heard about Al-Anon meetings, but she’s never gone to a meeting.

She’s not sure what it would be like, and she worries she’ll feel out of place or self-conscious. So Terri’s fear of the unknown keeps her away.

Can you relate? Trying something new can be intimidating, especially when you aren’t sure what to expect.

Here’s the FAQ on Al-Anon meetings, to help calm any fears you may have about attending your first meeting.

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What is Al-Anon?

Founded in 1951, Al-Anon is a program for people whose loved ones are struggling with alcoholism. It is designed to help individuals recover from the effects of someone else’s drinking.

Who Can Attend?

Al-Anon is a worldwide fellowship for anyone affected by someone else’s drinking. This includes spouses, children, parents, partners, brothers, sisters, other family members, coworkers, employers, employees, and friends of alcoholics.

You can attend Al-Anon regardless of whether the alcoholic in your life is seeking help or recognizes they have a drinking problem.

Do I Have to Say Anything?

Nope. If you attend a meeting you can talk – or not. You are welcome to participate at whatever level you’re comfortable.

If you would rather not share, you can tell the group you’d rather just listen.

What Do People Talk about?

This is a support group. Attendees share what they are going through and ask questions. The meetings are about mutual support.

Al-Anon meetings provide a safe place where you can talk about your problems with others who are facing similar struggles.

Two things to note:

1) The meetings are not brainstorming sessions to figure out how to help loved ones break their addiction. The focus is on support for attendees, not their loved ones.

2) Meeting leaders are there to facilitate discussion and sharing. They won’t be giving orders or making demands. Everyone there is considered equal.

Are All Meetings the Same?

Nope. Al-Anon provides general guidelines for the meetings, but each group can run their meetings as they choose. Most groups start their meetings by reading the 12 Steps of Al-Anon (which are only slightly different than the 12 Steps of AA).

How Many People Will Be There?

Typically, there are between five and 25 people at a meeting. Often, larger meetings split into smaller groups after the opening reading. This makes sharing and listening easier.

Are Meetings Really Anonymous?

Yes, Al-Anon leaders and attendees are required to maintain confidentiality of identities and any other information shared during meetings.

Is This a Religious Meeting?

Al-Anon is not affiliated with any religious group. You do not have to be of a practicing faith to attend Al-Anon meetings.

Does It Cost Anything to Attend?

No. There are no dues or fees for membership to Al-Anon. You can attend any meeting for free.

Do I Need to Sign up?

Al-Anon meetings have no membership lists and don’t take attendance. They are designed to take place on a walk-in basis. You can attend as often as you choose.

Will It Help Me?

Approximately 24,000 Al-Anon groups meet around the world, in more than 130 countries. The program has continued to grow over the last 70 years.

They discover others who have been where they are and understand what they are going through. They are able to draw from the strength and hope of others.

For thousands of people around the world, these meetings provide an outlet and support system that can be life-changing.

Are Meetings In-Person or Virtual?

Both are available. Many virtual Al-Anon meetings are held through different digital platforms. These online meetings allow you to connect to others from anywhere in the world, any hour of the day.

Call 800-839-1686 Toll Free. Privacy Guaranteed. No Commitment.

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Now That I Know All About Al-Anon Meetings, Where Can I Find One?

To find a meeting, you can visit and search by location.

You can also call 1-888-4AL-ANON for meeting information.

Remember, you can try out many meetings before you find one that works for you.

For information about treatment options for you or a loved one, call 800-948-8417 Question iconCalls are forwarded to these paid advertisers today.

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