Al-Anon is a mutual support program for people whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking. By sharing common experiences and applying the Al-Anon principles, families and friends of alcoholics can bring positive changes to their individual situations, whether or not the alcoholic admits the existence of a drinking problem or seeks help.
Alateen, a part of the Al-Anon Family Groups, is a fellowship of young people (mostly teenagers) whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking, if they are in your life drinking or not. By attending Alateen, teenagers meet other teenagers with similar situations. 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 co-workers of alcoholics.
How does Al-Anon work?
There is no magic formula that enables you to help someone stop—or cut back—on his or her drinking. Alcoholism is a complex problem, with many related issues. But Al-Anon can help you learn how to cope with the challenges of someone else’s drinking.
We all have different personal lives but we share a common bond as equals: our lives have been affected by another person’s drinking. Al-Anon is a mutual support group. We have been helping families and friends in crisis for more than70 years.
We find understanding and support when we share our common experience with each other. Some of us are here because a spouse or partner has struggled with alcoholism. For others, the problem drinker is a parent, child, or grandchild. Sometimes a brother, a sister, or some other friend or relative brings us to Al-Anon. Many of us have had more than one alcoholic family member or friend.
Alcoholism has similar effects on us all, even though our relationships to the alcoholic may be different. Many newcomers are most interested in hearing about situations and relationships that are similar to their own. Over time, however, we come to understand that we can benefit from hearing how the Al-Anon principles worked in many different situations. At our meetings you will hear that no situation is unique, we have all suffered the effects this disease has on our families. By supporting each other we slowly learn there is support, there is help, and there is a solution.
Al-Anon members come to understand problem drinking is a family illness that affects everyone in the family. By listening to Al-Anon members speak at Al-Anon meetings, you can hear how they came to understand their own role in this family illness. This insight puts them in a better position to play a positive role in the family’s future.
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.
We are delighted to welcome you into our programme and to share our Fellowship, support, and strength
Introduction to Newcomers Meetings
Al-Anon Family Groups can help anyone affected by someone else’s drinking and are made
up of family members and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength, and
hope with each other.
Members have found healthy, positive ways of dealing with the difficulties that result from
another’s alcoholism by regularly attending and participating in Al-Anon meetings
Even if the alcoholic continues to drink, his or her relatives and friends can find serenity as a
result of Al-Anon.
In South Africa we currently have 3 Newcomers Zoom Meetings where family members and friends of alcoholics can learn how the Al-Anon programme is able to help those whose lives have been affected by the disease of alcoholism. In order to join these meetings contact numbers are given for each one in the 'List of Zoom meetings' below.
The meetings discuss topics such as: Alcoholism as a disease, Steps 1,2 and 3 of the Al- Anon 12 Step programme, and the concepts of Detachment, the 3 Cs and Letting Go.
Here is a link to Al-Anon's World Service Office(WSO) website welcoming Newcomers and providing very helpful information, including FAQs : al-anon.org/welcome This link will prompt you to enter your email address for you to receive the information.
On the WSO website there is also a list of free and downloadable literature at this link: https://al-anon.org/for-members/members-resources/literature/downloadable-items/
This list of pamphlets includes titles such as 'Are you troubled by someone else's drinking?', 'Has your life been affected by someone else's drinking?', and 'Did you grow up with a
problem drinker?' which are sure to be helpful.
We welcome you and hope you will find in this fellowship the help and friendship we have been privileged to enjoy.