Getting Involved in Alateen
Alateen is a recovery group for teenagers who are affected by others’ alcoholism. Alateen
groups are sponsored by Al-Anon members, who help adult families and friends of
alcoholics recover from the effects of living with the problem drinking of a relative or
Alateen can help teens learn that:
Compulsive drinking is a disease, not a matter of choice, and that the drinker is not doing this on purpose to hurt them.
They can detach themselves emotionally from the drinker’s problems while continuing to love him or her.
They are not the cause of anyone else’s drinking or behavior and that they are not bad people.
They cannot change or control anyone but himself or herself.
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.
They can meet with others who have the same problems and find that they are not alone.
They do not have to sacrifice their lives because they have been told that if they really loved the drinker they would do whatever the drinker asked them to do.
Alcoholism is a family disease—the alcoholism of one member affects the rest of the family, and all members are pulled into the chaos of the disease.
As a result of alcoholism in the home, you could feel that:
No one could possibly understand how they feel
They have to cover up their real feelings by pretending they don’t care
They are neglected, uncared for, or unloved
They should try to cover up the alcoholism in the home
They are uncomfortable in their own home
Holidays and birthdays are spoiled because of drinking in the home
They could be to blame for the drinker’s behavior
If the drinker loved them, he or she would stop drinking
They are afraid to bring friends home because the drinker may embarrass them
Alateen can help teens share their experiences and get advice and support from others who understand the disease of addiction.
What are Alateen meetings like?
Alateen meetings use the same basic format as other Twelve Step meetings such as AA
or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Like those groups, Alateen is an anonymous fellowship
where people are only known only by first name and last initial. Meetings are held at
regular times, often in the gathering room of a church or other public building. People at
meetings share their experiences. They do not lecture, preach, instruct, or advise others.
An Alateen meeting can bring us together with others who could be a support for us.
How can you locate a meeting?
To find a meeting in your area, Confidential Helpline 020 7403 0888 or visit http://www.al-anonuk.org.uk/contact
“My mom has been an alcoholic for a long time. Before Alateen, I felt really depressed
about it. I felt like it was my fault. That if I was a better person, she would stop drinking.
Alateen helped me see that alcoholism is a disease, and my mom needs help. Whether she
chooses to get help or not, there are things I can do to take care of myself. My Alateen
friends understand me and they encourage me to grow as a person separate from my
—Keesha, age 14