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Information for Professionals About Al-Anon

If you are a professional, your awareness and interest in our program is important to us. The World Service Office's 1999 Membership Survey showed that 51% of Al-Anon members and 22% of Alateen members have been referred by professionals.

Dear professional,

Have you wondered how Al-Anon and Alateen works to help its members?

Have you wondered how these programs might interact with advice you may give to your clients?

If so, the literature listed below can help you understand how Al-Anon and Alateen members have used the Al-Anon and Alateen programs to receive help in recovering from the effects of alcoholism in their families and friends. Al-Anon does not ally itself with any specific religion, treatment program, or other method used to help families and friends of alcoholics. Al-Anon has no opinion on any issue outside of its primary purpose "to help families and friends of alcoholics." It has no opinion concerning the efficacy of any other method used to help family members recover from their obsession with someone else's drinking. Al-Anon does not interfere with the help professionals may offer.

Surveys of Al-Anon members report that many members use professional treatment along with their application of Al-Anon and Alateen principles.

Al-Anon Family Groups produces several pamphlets and books. The following selections are those which may of particular assistance to professionals.


Alcoholism is a family disease. Living with the effects of someone else's drinking is too devastating for most people to bear without help.

In Al-Anon we learn individuals are not responsible for another person's disease or recovery from it.

We let go of our obsession with another's behavior and begin to lead happier and more manageable lives, lives with dignity and rights; lives guided by a Power greater than ourselves.


  • Not to suffer because of the actions or reactions of other people;
  • Not to allow ourselves to be used or abused by others in the interest of another's recovery;
  • Not to do for others what they could do for themselves;
  • Not to manipulate situations so others will eat, go to bed, get up, pay bills, not drink;
  • Not to cover up for anyone's mistakes or misdeeds;
  • Not to create a crisis;
  • Not to prevent a crisis if it is in the natural course of events.

Detachment is neither kind nor unkind. It does not imply judgement or condemnation of the person or situation from which we are detaching. It is simply a means that allows us to separate ourselves from the adverse effects that another person's alcoholism can have upon our lives.
Detachment helps families look at their situations realistically and objectively, thereby making intelligent decisions possible.

a worldwide organization that offers a self-help recovery program for the families and friends of alcoholics whether or not the alcoholic seeks help or even recognizes the existence of a drinking problem. Members give and receive comfort and understanding through a mutual exchange of experiences, strength and hope. Sharing of similar problems binds individuals and groups together in a bond that is protected by a policy of anonymity.

a religious organization or a counseling agency. It is not a treatment center nor is it allied with any other organization offering such services. Al-Anon Family Groups, which includes Alateen for teenage members, neither express opinions on outside issues nor endorse outside enterprises. No dues or fees are required. Membership is voluntary, requiring only that one's own life has been adversely affected by someone else's drinking problem.

Adapted from AL-ANON SPEAKS OUT a newsletter for professionals. Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., 1979. Copyright © Printed with permission.

Approved by World Service Conference Al-Anon Family Groups Pamphlet S-19 - Reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Groups, Inc.


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