“Alateen is a fellowship of young Al-Anon members, usually teenagers, whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking. Alateen groups are sponsored by Al-Anon members who help the group to stay on track.”
— From the World Service Office website*
Every Alateen group needs an active, adult member of Al-Anon to serve as a sponsor (referred to as an AMIAS).
The sponsor is an active participant in the group, guiding and sharing knowledge of our Twelve Steps and Traditions. Members of Alateen can also choose to have a personal sponsor, who can be another member of Alateen or Al-Anon. The Alateen group sponsor is called an AMIAS; Al-Anon Member Involved in Alateen Service. Training is provided yearly, sometimes multiple times per year.
Alateen members meet in church halls, school rooms or other suitable places (many times in the same building as an Al-Anon group but in a separate room). All Alateen meetings are considered ‘closed’. That means that only people who have been affected by the compulsive drinking of another are welcome. Outsiders with an interest are welcome to sit in on an ‘open’ Al-Anon meeting to learn more.
In Alateen, younger people come together to:
- share experiences, strength, and hope with each other
- discuss their difficulties
- learn effective ways to cope with their problems
- encourage one another
- help each other understand the principles of the Al-Anon program and learn how to use the Twelve Steps and Alateen’s Twelve Traditions
Alateen members learn:
- compulsive drinking is a disease
- they can detach themselves emotionally from the drinker’s problems while continuing to love the person
- they are not the cause of anyone else’s drinking or behavior
- they cannot change or control anyone but themselves
- they have spiritual and intellectual resources with which to develop their own potentials, no matter what happens at home
- they can build satisfying and rewarding life experiences for themselves
Alateen members are helped when they:
- Attend meetings on a regular basis
- Make telephone contact with other Alateen members
- Read Al-Anon/Alateen literature
- Have another Alateen member as a sponsor
- Apply the Twelve Steps of recovery to their lives
- Become involved in Al-Anon service work
The following 20 questions are to help you decide whether or not Alateen is for you.
- Do you believe no one could possibly understand how you feel?
- Do you cover up your real feelings by pretending that you don’t care?
- Do you feel neglected, uncared for, or unloved?
- Do you tell lies to cover up for someone else’s drinking or what’s happening in your home?
- Do you stay out of the house as much as possible because you hate it there?
- Are you afraid or embarrassed to bring your friends home?
- Has someone’s drinking upset you?
- Are mealtimes, birthdays, and holidays spoiled because of drinking or others’ reactions to the drinking?
- Are you afraid to speak up for fear the drinking or fighting will start again?
- Do you think the drinker’s behavior is caused by you, other members of your family, friends, or rotten breaks in life?
- Do you make threats such as, “If you don’t stop drinking and fighting, I’ll run away”?
- Do you make promises about behavior, such as, “I’ll get better grades,” “go to church,” or “keep my room clean” in exchange for a promise that the drinking will stop?
- Do you feel that if the drinker loved you, she or he would stop drinking?
- Do you ever threaten or actually hurt yourself to scare the drinker into saying “I’m sorry,” or “I love you”?
- Do you or your family have money problems because of someone else’s drinking?
- Are you scared to ride in a car with the drinker?
- Have you considered calling the police because of the abusive behavior in your home?
- Have you refused dates because your date may find out about the drinking or fighting?
- Do you think your problems would be solved if the drinking stopped?
- Do you ever treat people (teachers, friends, teammates, etc.) unfairly because you are angry at someone else for drinking too much?
If you answered yes to three or more of these questions Alateen may help you.
Alateen Contact: If you have further questions, please use our Alateen Contact Form.
Suggested Alateen Preamble to the Twelve Steps
Alateen, part of the Al‐Anon Family Groups, is for young people who have been affected by alcoholism in a family member or friend. We help each other by sharing our experience, strength, and hope.
We believe alcoholism is a family disease affecting everyone emotionally and sometimes physically. Although we cannot change or control the alcoholics in our lives, we can detach from their problems while continuing to love them.
In Alateen we focus on our own program rather than outside issues such as religion, politics, social media, or other Twelve Step programs. There are no dues for membership. Alateen is self-supporting through its own voluntary contributions. Alateen has one purpose: to help young people affected by someone else’s drinking. We are careful to protect each other’s anonymity as well as that of all Al‐Anon and A.A. members.
By applying the Twelve Steps to ourselves, we begin to recover from the effects of the family disease of alcoholism mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This allows us to encourage our alcoholic relatives and friends, and to give hope to other teens.
Alateen Document and Forms:
Please visit the Alateen section on the Documents and Forms page for further information: Documents and Forms
Click here for Alateen Permission and Medical Forms
More than 7 Million Children Live with a Parent with Alcohol Problems, 2012. These children are at a greater risk for depression, anxiety disorders, problems with cognitive and verbal skills, and parental abuse or neglect.