Alateen is a fellowship of young Al-Anon members, teenagers and sometimes younger, whose lives have been affected by someone else's drinking.
Purposes of Alateen
Young people come together to:
Share experience, strength and hope with each other.
Discuss their difficulties.
Learn effective ways to cope with their problems.
Encourage one another.
Help each other understand the principles of the Al-Anon program.
Every Alateen group needs at least one active, adult member of Al-Anon to serve as sponsor. Sponsors are an active part of the group, guiding and sharing knowledge of our Twelve Steps and Alateen Traditions. To serve as sponsors, they have must have satisfied all requirements of the Area Alateen safety policy. This includes passing a background check. Interested in Alateen sponsorship? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Alateen members meet in church halls, school rooms or other suitable places (many times in the same building as an Al-Anon group, but in a separate room.)
Alateen Members Learn That:
Compulsive drinking is a disease.
They can detach themselves emotionally from the drinker's problems while continuing to love the person.
They are not the cause of anyone else's drinking or behavior.
They cannot change or control anyone but themselves.
They have spiritual and intellectual resources with which to develop their own potentials, no matter what happens at home.
They can build satisfying and rewarding life experiences for themselves.
Members are encouraged to read Al-Anon and Alateen Conference-Approved Literature and materials. Written from members' personal sharings, these recovery tools can help young people deal with their problems.
Alateen Forum Writings
The following letters are from the Altogether Alateen Group in Mount Clemens, Michigan.
Working on Anger:
My father is the alcoholic in our family. He drank for a long time, then he got sober for 2 1/2 years. I really didn't have any anger until he started drinking again. We always had to leave for two weeks at a time because he went on binges. When he started selling my things for extra money is when anger began to build up in me. I was confused because he always promised he was through with drinking and I believed him. He went to a rehab recently and it's been one month and 20 days that he's still sober. Thanks to Alateen I have confidence in him, and I am working on my anger. Things are better at home, too. Now I know I love him, and hope he stays sober.
Separating the Problem:
When I first met my soon to be stepfather I knew he drank, but I didn't know how much. He moved in and I became aware of how much he was drinking. My respect level for him went down each day. From lack of respect I went to disliking him. My relationship with my mother also went down and she had to decide between her husband and her son.
When I first started going to Alateen it was hard for me to distinguish between my stepfather's drinking problem and the person he was. In Alateen, I learned his drinking is a disease. Now I'm able to overlook the disease and accept him for who he is even though he still drinks.
Reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. Virginia Beach, VA.