Newcomers

How will Al-Anon help me?

Many who come to Al-Anon/Alateen are in despair, feeling hopeless, unable to believe that things can ever change. We want our lives to be different, but nothing we have done has brought about change. We all come to Al-Anon because we want and need help.

In Al-Anon and Alateen, members share their own experience, strength, and hope with each other. You will meet others who share your feelings and frustrations, if not your exact situation. We come together to learn a better way of life, to find happiness whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not.

Who are the members of Al-Anon and Alateen?

Al-Anon and Alateen members are people just like you and me–people who have been affected by someone else's drinking. They are parents, children, spouses, partners, brothers, sisters, other family members, friends, employers, employees, and coworkers of alcoholics. No matter what our specific experience has been we share a common bond: we feel our lives have been affected by someone else's drinking

What is alcoholism?

Alcoholism is widely recognized as a disease of compulsive drinking, which can be arrested, but not cured. It is a progressive illness, which will get only worse as long as the person continues to drink. Total abstinence from drinking is the only way to arrest the disease. Alcoholism affects the entire family; indeed, everyone who has contact with the alcoholic is affected. Unfortunately, the only person who can stop the alcoholic from drinking is the alcoholic himself or herself.

How do alcoholics affect families and friends?

Alcoholism is a family disease. The disease affects all those who have a relationship with a problem drinker. Those of us closest to the alcoholic suffer the most, and those who care the most can easily get caught up in the behavior of another person. We react to the alcoholic's behavior. We focus on them, what they do, where they are, how much they drink. We try to control their drinking for them. We take on the blame, guilt, and shame that really belong to the drinker. We can become as addicted to the alcoholic, as the alcoholic is to alcohol. We, too, can become ill.

Are You Troubled by Someone's Drinking?
Al-Anon Is for You!

Millions of people are affected by the excessive drinking of someone close. The following questions are designed to help you decide whether or not you need Al-Anon:

  • Do you worry about how much someone else drinks?
  • Do you have money problems because of someone else's drinking?
  • Do you tell lies to cover up for someone else's drinking?
  • Do you feel that if the drinker cared about you, he or she would stop drinking to please you?
  • Do you blame the drinker's behavior on his or her companions?
  • Are plans frequently upset or canceled or meals delayed because of the drinker?
  • Do you make threats, such as, "If you don't stop drinking, I'll leave you"?
  • Do you secretly try to smell the drinker's breath?
  • Are you afraid to upset someone for fear it will set off a drinking bout?
  • Have you been hurt or embarrassed by a drinker's behavior?
  • Are holidays and gatherings spoiled because of drinking?
  • Have you considered calling the police for help in fear of abuse?
  • Do you search for hidden alcohol?
  • Do you ever ride in a car with a driver who has been drinking?
  • Have you refused social invitations out of fear or anxiety?
  • Do you feel like a failure because you can't control the drinking?
  • Do you think that if the drinker stopped drinking, your other problems would be solved?
  • Do you ever threaten to hurt yourself to scare the drinker?
  • Do you feel angry, confused, or depressed most of the time?
  • Do you feel there is no one who understands your problems?

If you have answered "Yes" to any of these questions, Al-Anon or Alateen may help you. To contact Al-Anon/Alateen in your community


Did You Grow Up with a Problem Drinker?
Al-Anon Is for You!

Al-Anon is for families, relatives, and friends whose lives have been affected by someone else's drinking. If someone close to you, such as a family member, friend, co-worker, or neighbor, has or has had a drinking problem, the following questions may help you determine if Al-Anon is for you:

  • Do you constantly seek approval and affirmation?
  • Do you fail to recognize your accomplishments?
  • Do you fear criticism?
  • Do you overextend yourself?
  • Have you had problems with your own compulsive behavior?
  • Do you have a need for perfection?
  • Are you uneasy when your life is going smoothly, continually anticipating problems?
  • Do you feel more alive in the midst of a crisis?
  • Do you still feel responsible for others, as you did for the problem drinker in your life?
  • Do you care for others easily, yet find it difficult to care for yourself?
  • Do you isolate yourself from other people?
  • Do you respond with fear to authority figures and angry people?
  • Do you feel that individuals and society in general are taking advantage of you?
  • Do you have trouble with intimate relationships?
  • Do you confuse pity with love, as you did with the problem drinker?
  • Do you attract and/or seek people who tend to be compulsive and/or abusive?
  • Do you cling to relationships because you are afraid of being alone?
  • Do you often mistrust your own feelings and the feelings expressed by others?
  • Do you find it difficult to identify and express your emotions?
  • Do you think someone's drinking may have affected you?

Has Your Life Been Affected by Someone Else's Drinking?
Alateen Is for You!

  • Do you believe no one could possible understand how you feel?
  • Do you cover up your real feelings by pretending you don't care?
  • Do you feel nobody really loves you or cares what happens to you?
  • Do you tell lies to cover up for someone else's drinking or what's happening in your home?
  • Do you stay out of the house as much as possible because you hate it there?
  • Are you afraid or embarrassed to bring your friends home?
  • Has someone's drinking upset you?
  • Are holidays and gatherings spoiled because of drinking or others' reactions to the drinking?
  • Are you afraid to speak up sometimes for fear it will set off a drinking bout or start another fight?
  • Do you think the drinker's behavior is caused by you, other members of your family, friends, or rotten breaks in life?
  • Do you make threats such as, "If you don't stop drinking and fighting, I'll run away"?
  • Do you make promises about behavior, such as, "I'll get better grades," "go to church," or "keep my room clean" in exchange for a promise that the drinking will stop?
  • Do you feel that if your mom or dad loved you, she or he would stop drinking?
  • Do you ever threaten or actually hurt yourself to scare your parents into saying "I'm sorry," or "I love you"?
  • Do you or your family have money problems because of someone else's drinking?
  • Are mealtimes frequently stressful or delayed because of drinking or fighting?
  • Have you considered calling the police because of the abusive behavior in your home?
  • Have you refused dates because your date may find out about the drinking or fighting?
  • Do you think your problems would be solved if the drinking stopped?
  • Do you ever treat people (teachers, schoolmates, teammates, etc.) unjustly because you are angry at someone else for drinking too much?


The following questions are to help you decide whether or not alanon/Alateen is for you. If you have answered "Yes" to any of these questions, Alateen may help you.  click contact us