It can become confusing to “outsiders” who have heard of Al-Anon to know whether or not they are permitted to attend an Al-Anon meeting. The following excerpt from the NCWSA website gives us an explanation of “Open”, “Closed”, “Restricted” and “Alateen” meetings:
“Open” Al-Anon meetings are open to everyone, including those only seeking information about Al-Anon, such as professionals (counselors, doctors, etc.), media, students, or the curious, but don’t, themselves, have anyone in their family or friends whose alcoholism is bothering them.
“Closed” Al-Anon meetings are meant only for those whose lives are bothered by someone else’s drinking. Visitors and newcomers that qualify in this manner are welcome to attend “closed” Al-Anon meetings. We ask that those seeking ‘only information’ not attend.
“Restricted” meetings are held on sites that require special clearance and/or permission. No one can attend these meetings without being cleared by the facility in which the meeting is held. The purpose of restricted meetings is to carry the Al-Anon/Alateen message to those who are confined in crisis/abuse shelters, juvenile detention centers, group homes, county jails, state and federal prisons, and other similar facilities as defined by the World Service Office Guideline G-9.
“Alateen” meetings are for teens and younger children whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking, often a parent, guardian, sibling, relative or friend. All Alateen meetings are “closed”. That is, open only to teens and some younger children and their Area certified Group Sponsor(s). For your teen’s protection, Alateen abides by the NCWSA Requirement for Alateen Member Safety.
District 19 is the southern most district in NCWSA (Northern California World Service Area). It is composed of the counties of Fresno, Madera, Kings, and Tulare. More than forty-five groups make up District 19. Almost all of these groups are “closed” meetings. That is, they are ‘meant only for those whose lives are bothered by someone else’s drinking’.
District 19 does have an “Open” speaker meeting on the first Monday of each month at the East Princeton Baptist Church, 2726 N. Chestnut Ave, Fresno at 7:00 pm.
Originally published in the District 19 AlaNews, Volume 16 Issue 4.