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Starting an Al-Anon Meeting

Though we hope you will attend one or more of our current District 7 meetings, we also encourage you to start your own in a location closer to home. District 7 includes Coosa, Tallapoosa, Chambers, Lee, Macon, and Russell Counties. If you live in one of these areas and would like to start a new Alanon Family Group, please take the following steps, derived from Al-Anon Guidelines "Starting an Al-Anon Group" (G-12). Note that it is best if you choose a time that is not already in use by another group to avoid competition and encourage fellowship throughout the district. Our district would especially welcome meetings on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Starting and building a healthy group is a spiritual undertaking. It takes time and commitment. Before you start or decide to disband a group—ask for help! The district, the Area, and the WSO are available to offer information, support, and encouragement. Al-Anon is a “we” program—you don’t need to go it alone! Additional information for starting and maintaining a healthy group can be found in the Al-Anon and Alateen Groups at Work booklet (P-24).

Any two or more relatives or friends of alcoholics who meet to solve their common problem of being affected by someone else’s drinking may call themselves an Al-Anon group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation. Professionals or A.A. members may initiate the formation of an Al-Anon/Alateen group provided that the meetings are then conducted by Al-Anon/Alateen members.

The following guidelines are the essentials needed to start a group. Depending on individual needs, there may be other factors and the sequence of events may differ. See Al-Anon Guidelines "Starting an Al-Anon Group" (G-12) for full details.
  1. Determine the kind of meeting you want to start. 
  2. Decide on a day and time; consider other meetings in your vicinity when making this decision to avoid scheduling conflicts.
  3. Find a location to hold the meeting (such as: community centers, schools, hospitals, religious, and other public facilities). Many locations will offer space at little to no charge. Groups that meet at sites such as military bases, industrial plants, or schools may have access limited due to the facility’s entry restrictions.
  4. Set a date for the first meeting.
  5. Select an appropriate name for the group. Do not include the name of any other affiliated bodies or organizations, even if that is where your group will meet. Include AFG (Al-anon Family Group) in your name. Example: "Work the Program, Not the Problem AFG"
  6. Contact your District Representative or Area 64 Delegate for guidance and to register your new group with the Area and district.
  7. Distribute flyers to the district, other groups, local AA groups, and post in public places.