What is Al-Anon?

Most people have heard of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), but not many know about Al-Anon. A worldwide fellowship, Al-Anon was established to help family members and friends of those suffering from alcoholism to heal and move on. While individuals struggling with alcohol use disorders can find treatment and support from addiction treatment centers, therapeutic rehabilitation clinics, AA and non AA programs, family and loved ones can get the support they need to cope with the effects of their loved ones drinking at Al-Anon.

There are many types of Al-Anon meetings, with different themes and different purposes. If you are affected by a loved one’s addiction and interested to learn more, you should attend a beginners meeting to get started. Although it can be intimidating to try something new, especially when it comes to sharing your feelings with total strangers, Al-Anon is known as a safe place where you can learn to trust, share your problems and receive support from others in similar circumstances. Al-Anon meetings are for you, not your loved one. Participation is voluntary and you can choose to share your experiences or just listen to others’. If you aren’t comfortable sharing, simply tell the group you’d like to pass or that you’d rather just listen.

Finding ways to help you respond to the challenges you are facing is a large part of Al-Anon and you should expect to be given educational materials such as books, pamphlets, or be asked to do some research. Al‑Anon simplifies complex problems by suggesting a “One Day at a Time” approach, which takes things one step at a time. Although Al-Anon is a support group and its meetings are often different from each other, the group asks prospective members to attend at least 6 meetings, before deciding, if Al-Anon is the right place for them to start their healing process. Attendance is voluntary and attendees are completely anonymous, meaning that the attendees and group leaders must maintain everyone’s confidentiality.

Below is a list of the different types of Al-Anon meetings that are intended to allow members and visitors to choose the meetings most relevant to them.

  • Beginners – Topics Focus on Welcoming Newcomers
  • Regular – Speaker Topic Meeting
  • Open – Both Members and Visitors are Welcome
  • Closed – Only Members and Applicants
  • Alateen – Teenage or Younger Al-Anon Members
  • Al-Anon Adult & Children – Adults with Younger Children. Topics Focus on Family Issues
  • LGBT – Topics focus on LGTB Members
  • Problem Solving – Topics Focus on Finding Solutions
  • Topic – Focused on a Chosen Al-Anon Topic
  • Tradition – Focus is on an Al-Anon Tradition
  • Literature – Topics focus on Al-Anon Literature
  • Slogans – Topics Focus on Al-Anon Slogans
  • Meditation – The Meeting Includes a Meditation Break
  • Step – Focused on Al-Anon 12 Steps
  • Men’s – For Men (All Welcome)
  • Women’s – For Women (All Welcome)
  • Parent’s – For Parents (All Welcome)

Al-Anon meetings occur across the nation. To find one in your area, check your local listings or search the Al-Anon website at:

If you are concerned about a loved one who may need treatment for alcoholism, please contact Florida Center for Recovery to discuss detox and therapeutic rehabilitation options. Our intake advisors can assist you at (800) 851-3291

RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE. Visit our addiction treatment programs’ page for a better insight into our diverse comprehensive therapies.