What You Need to Know About Al-Anon

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05 Jul What You Need to Know About Al-Anon

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Established in 1951, Al-Anon is a well-known organization based off of the foundation of Alcoholics Anonymous. The major difference between the two non-profit services is that Al-Anon aims to help family members and friends of those struggling with alcoholism. Here are some facts about what Al-Anon does, who they help and why so many people find the organization helpful.

What You Need to Know About Al-Anon

By Julie Klukas

  • Al-Anon Helps Family and Friends

    By Julie Klukas

    While Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are for [alcoholics](http://www.teenrehab.org/how-to-help-prevent-your-teen-from-abusing-alcohol/), Al-Anon meetings are for friends and family of an alcoholic or heavy drinker. During meetings, Al-Anon members share experiences and support in order to help each other solve their problems.

  • Al-Anon Has a Special Group Just for Teens

    By Julie Klukas

    [Alateen](http://al-anon.org/for-alateen) is very similar to Al-Anon, but it's specifically designed for preteens and teenagers who are [affected by a family member](http://www.teenrehab.org/how-to-explain-addiction-to-a-child/) or friend's drinking. Adult members of Al-Anon act as Alateen Group Sponsors and help teens stay focused in the program.

  • Al-Anon is Not Associated With Any Religion, Institution or Political Party

    By Julie Klukas

    Although spirituality plays an important role in the Al-Anon literature, [Al-Anon](http://al-anon.org/what-can-i-expect) is not associated with any sort of institution, religion or political belief. Instead, Al-Anon encourages their members to find their own method of [spiritual growth](http://www.teenrehab.org/the-role-of-spirituality-in-mental-health-and-wellness/) that works for their personal beliefs.

  • Al-Anon Has Three Legacies

    By Julie Klukas

    The [Twelve Steps](http://al-anon.org/the-twelve-steps), the [Twelve Traditions](http://al-anon.org/the-twelve-traditions) and the [Twelve Concepts of Service](http://al-anon.org/the-twelve-concepts) are Al-Anon's three [legacies](http://al-anon.org/the-legacies). The Twelve Steps are adapted from the famous Alcoholics Anonymous' Twelve Steps while the Twelve Traditions summarize those principles that help Al-Anon groups function effectively within the main organization. The Twelve Concepts of Service outline the principles followed by the overarching Al-Anon service.

  • Al-Anon Views Alcoholism as a Family Disease

    By Julie Klukas

    There are many different theories when it comes to alcoholism, including whether or not it should be considered an illness. However, the official Al-Anon stance is that alcoholism is a [family disease](http://al-anon.org/the-family-disease-of-alcoholism) and that changed attitudes can assist in recovery.

  • There Are Over 24,000 Al-Anon Groups

    By Julie Klukas

    Al-Anon is a truly global organization. There are [over 24,000 Al-Anon groups](http://al-anon.org/pdf/S37ES.pdf) and nearly 1,800 Alateen groups in 131 countries. All of these groups are funded by private donations as Al-Anon [doesn’t charge membership dues](http://al-anon.org/faq) or take any money from outside funds, grants or donations.

  • Al-Anon is Based on Anonymity

    By Julie Klukas

    Al-Anon and Alateen are all anonymous organizations that protect the identity of their members. The confidentiality of Al-Anon allows participants to feel safe enough to open up about the problems they struggle with.

  • Most Members Find Al-Anon Very Helpful

    By Julie Klukas

    A [2015 survey](http://www.al-anon.org/pdf/MembershipSurvey.pdf) conducted by Al-Anon found that 76% of Al-Anon members reported a significant improvement in their [mental health](http://www.teenrehab.org/talking-to-your-teen-about-mental-health/) and well-being due to Al-Anon.

  • Al-Anon and Alateen Has Members from Many Different Backgrounds

    By Julie Klukas

    According to [Al-Anon's survey](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Anon/Alateen#cite_note-2006Al-AnonSurvey-21), approximately 87% of members are from the U.S., Bermuda and Puerto Rico while 13% are from Canada. For American members, 93% are white, 83% are female, and 61% are married. Among the parents, 12% have children under the age of 18 living with them while 15% have children over the age of 18 who live at home.

Feature Photo: Cristina Cerda

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