What is Al-Anon/Alateen?

The Al-Anon Family Groups (AFG) are a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength, and hope in order to solve their common problems. We believe alcoholism is a family illness and that changed attitudes can aid recovery.

Al-Anon is not allied with any sect, denomination, political entity, organization, or institution; does not engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any cause. There are no dues for membership. Al-Anon is self-supporting through its own voluntary contributions.

Al-Anon has but one purpose: to help families of alcoholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps, by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholics, and by giving understanding and encouragement to the alcoholic.

Alateen is our recovery program for young people. Alateen groups are sponsored by Al-Anon members. The only requirement for membership is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend.

The Al-Anon Declaration says: When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, let the hand of Al-Anon and Alateen always be there, and -- Let It Begin with Me.

The 12 Steps

The 12 Steps

Because of their proven power and worth, A.A.’s Twelve Steps have been adopted almost word for word by Al-Anon. They represent a way of life appealing to all people of goodwill, or any religious faith or of none. Study of these Steps is essential to progress in the Al-Anon program. The principles they embody are universal, applicable to everyone, whatever his personal creed. Read the 12 Steps here.

The 12 Traditions


Gifts of the Program
The 12 Traditions

The Traditions that follow bind us together in unity. They guide the groups in their relations with other groups, with A.A., and the outside world. They recommend group attitudes toward leadership, membership, money, property, public relations, and anonymity. The Traditions evolved from the experience of A.A. groups in trying to solve their problems of living and working together. Al-Anon adopted these group guidelines and over the years has found them sound and wise. Although they are only suggestions, Al-Anon’s unity and perhaps even its survival are dependent on adherence to these principles. Read the 12 Traditions here.

The 12 Concepts

Carrying the message, as suggested in the Twelfth Step, is Service, Al-Anon’s third legacy. Service, a vital purpose of Al-Anon, is action. Members strive to do as well as to be. Anything done to help a relative or friend of an alcoholic is service: a telephone call to a despairing member or sponsoring a newcomer, telling one’s story at meetings, forming groups, arranging for public outreach, distributing literature, and financially supporting groups, local services, and the World Service Office. Read the 12 Concepts of Service here.

The Gifts of the Program

The Steps promise that a spiritual awakening is available to all who take them. The Al-Anon program offers many gifts. Experience shows us that though we are very fragile when we come to the program, we learn to share our stories, as well as our experience, strength, and hope with each other. We begin to heal. Read the Gifts of the Program here.

The Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity 

To accept the things I cannot change, 

Courage to change the things I can, 

And wisdom to know the difference.