Who is it for?

Many people come through our doors for help with coping with a problem drinker. They include close and distant relatives, friends and colleagues. 

Whatever relationship they and the drinker share (or once shared), even if the drinker has since stopped drinking, left the family or died, they are welcomed with open arms.

Because alcoholism affects the whole family, almost anyone can seek solace within an Al‑Anon Family Group meeting. Alcoholics Anonymous exists for the drinker when they are ready to seek help.

Supporting the immediate family

Sharing a home with a problem drinker affects everyone in a different way. Often it can be difficult to bring up problems at home or to even focus on your own feelings when so much is going on.

Al-Anon meetings are a safe place where you as a son, daughter, wife, husband, partner, mother or father of a drinker can come together and talk about your own concerns and feelings. If you don't feel able or willing to talk, that's OK too.

Whatever your story or background, you won't be judged or made to feel unwelcome by fellow members.

Distant family, friends and colleagues are welcome

As a family illness, the effects of alcoholism ripple out beyond the immediate family. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins can also be concerned about what is happening.

Friends may be deeply affected by a drinker's behaviour. After all, they will have shared experiences with them – positive and negative – and may have been brought into their confidence. 

Drinkers' friends can be challenged by many conflicting feelings. Guilt for not being able to help (or for helping too much), a sense of responsibility for their welfare, a deep care for their wellbeing and anger at past behaviour. 

Sharing a common bond

Al-Anon's fellowship of members includes people from many different backgrounds, each sharing their experiences of alcoholism within the family, talking about challenges and supporting one another in changing their lives for the better. 

If you feel your life is or has been affected by another's drinking, Al-Anon is for you. We strongly recommend you attend an Al-Anon meeting and find out how we can help. 

Al-Anon Helpline

  • Talk to a member in confidence
  • 7 days a week
  • Free phone

0800 0086 811

Dial now