It’s very difficult when a parent, stepparent, grandparent, friend, sibling, or any one else in one’s life has a drinking problem. It affects how young people are treated and it shapes their world. Alateen meetings are where teens can find support and understanding from people their own age who are going through similar difficulties.
Alateen is part of the Al-Anon Family Groups; Al-Anon meetings are for anyone affected by someone else’s drinking. If there’s no Alateen meeting available to you, you are always welcome to attend an Al-Anon meeting.
In Alateen meetings, young people share their own experiences—everyone in the meeting has been affected by someone else’s drinking. Some currently live with a problem drinker, others do not. Alateens share their feelings, encourage each other, and share how the Alateen program has helped them. The adults in the meetings are the Alateen Group Sponsors, who help the teens to stay focused on the Alateen program.
Alateens share that they have come to understand that alcoholism is a disease and that:
- They are not the cause of anyone else’s drinking or behavior.
- They cannot change or control anyone but themselves.
- They can detach themselves emotionally from the drinker’s problems while continuing to love the person.
- They can build satisfying and rewarding life experiences for themselves, whether the alcoholic still drinks or not.
Alateen groups meet in community centers, churches, schools, or other suitable places (many times in the same building as an Al-Anon group, but in a separate room). The groups are not affiliated with the meeting location.