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Medical Health Aged Care, Youth

Alateen, for children affected by someone else’s drinking.

Al-Anon Family Groups Pty Ltd 3 mins read

August is Alateen Awareness Month Australia Wide in Al-Anon Family Groups.  If you are affected by a problem drinker or a professional who regularly encounter clients who have lived with or possibly still live with a problem drinker, contact us.  Al-Anon Family Groups can help.

Al-Anon Family Groups, as an organisation, is responsible for Alateen and raising awareness of Alateen in our community.




Purposes of Alateen:

Young people come together to...

• share experience, strength and hope with each other

• discuss their difficulties

• learn effective ways to cope with their problems

• encourage each other

• help one another understand the principles of the Alateen program

Child Safety precautions:

Every Alateen group needs two, adult members of Al-Anon (certified by their local Area including having a Working with Children Check) to serve as Sponsors. The Sponsors are an active part of the group, guiding and sharing knowledge of the recovery program.

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 behaviour

• they cannot change or control anyone but themselves

• they have spiritual and intellectual resources with which to develop their own potential, no matter what happens at home

• they can build satisfying and rewarding life experiences for themselves



The consequent breakdown of the family leads to very destructive ‘acting out’ behaviour, particularly in teenagers, and this is where Alateen, for children whose lives have been affected by an alcoholic, proves so effective.

It is normal in the alcoholic family for almost every interaction to be destructive.  No matter what is tried, things go from bad to worse.  There may be hatred, rage and a desire for revenge – or apathy.  There can be tension and depression, thoughts of homicide, thoughts of suicide.  And above all, FEAR.  Living in such an atmosphere is not healthy, but how to avoid it?  Stress and negativity can lead to physical illness and an inability to function normally in society.  All this comes at a huge cost to our social system.  Having had expectations of happy domesticity, families often process the violence as a private, family matter.  This is a major element in what Barrett and McIntosh (1982) refer to as the “anti-social family”.

The worldwide fellowship of Al-Anon Family Groups including Alateen for our younger members, offers help, hope, and recovery to those whose lives have been affected by someone else’s problem with alcohol.

The benefits of learning more about alcoholism and the effects it has on not only the drinker but their family, friends and colleagues, are many.  Attending open meetings  where each speaker reveals their own experience of how alcoholism has impacted their life, will provide insight and understanding of this family disease.

We welcome you, and those professionals who regularly come into contact with clients who have lived with or possibly still live with a problem drinker, to contact us for more information.

Al-Anon Family Groups (Australia) Pty Ltd

GPO Box 1002 Melbourne 3001

Telephone 96202166 Help line 1300252666


Key Facts:

One in 4 Children are affected by someone's drinking. 

The consequent breakdown of the family leads to very destructive ‘acting out’ behaviour, particularly in teenagers, and this is where Alateen, for children whose lives have been affected by an alcoholic, proves so effective.

About us:

Al-Anon Family Groups ia an Australia - Wide organisation supporting families and friends of problem drinkers.  Al-Anon has been operating in Australia for over 70 years and is a World -Wide resource for the wider community. 

Contact details:

Cheryl Canute


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