Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is alcoholism?

We often refer to it as a threefold family disease affecting the body, the mind and the spirit. For the drinker, one of the symptoms is an uncontrollable desire for alcohol.

2. How can I help an alcoholic?

Ultimately an alcoholic must want help, and often help is resisted. By adopting the Al-Anon/Alateen program we can stop trying to change the alcoholic. We learn we cannot change anyone. We do this by turning our attention to ourselves, the only ones we can change.

3. What is Al-Anon?

Al-Anon is a fellowship of family members, friends and co-workers of alcoholics, men, women and children who try to solve our common problems by sharing experiences, good and bad, and by increasing our knowledge and understanding of the disease and our response to it.

4. What can I do to help an alcoholic stop drinking?

By changing our own attitudes we provide a healthier environment for our families or circle of friends, including the alcoholic. This may allow the alcoholic to see the problem more clearly and pave the way to recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

5. Will my troubles be over when the alcoholic stops drinking?

Life is bound to improve with sobriety; however we did not become confused and unreasonable over night and we do not recover over night either. Recovery for the family takes time and work just as it does for the alcoholic. If we continue to attend and practice the program our lives and those of our family will improved and we will find happiness and serenity.

6. Will I still need Al-Anon after the alcoholic has stopped drinking?

Yes. The adjustment to sobriety can be aided by our continuing to focus on ourselves and growing in Al-Anon. Many members continue long after the drinking has stopped.

7. How can I help after the alcoholic stops drinking?

Loving and understanding helps. Recovering from the effects of alcoholism, the family disease, ourselves, often aids in ongoing recovery of others.

8. How much is this going to cost?

There are no dues or fees in Al-Anon and Alateen meetings. Most groups pass a basket for voluntary contributions. Members are asked to contribute what they can afford, so that the group can pay rent, provide literature, and offer support to local and worldwide service centers.

9. Is this a religious fellowship?

Al-Anon Family Groups is a spiritual fellowship, not a religious one. Our Twelve Steps ask us to find a "Power greater than ourselves" who can help us solve our problems and find serenity. Each member is free to define that power in his or her own way.

10. What if there are no meetings available where I live?

Electronic Al-Anon meetings are available on the Internet and via telephone and can be in e-mail, chat, bulletin board, or telephone format. For a current list of electronic meetings, please follow this link to the "Find an Electronic Meeting" page of the Al-Anon World Service website.

11. What are the requirements for membership in Al-Anon?

There is but one requirement - that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend. If you have been affected by another personís drinking, Al-Anon may be for you.

 

On-line Al-Anon meetings cannot replace the companionship and warmth provided by regular attendance at face-to-face Al-Anon meetings. On-line meetings can supplement and be a source of support when it is impossible or impractical to attend regular meetings.