Alateen: hope and help for younger family members and friends of alcoholics
It’s very difficult when a parent, stepparent, grandparent, friend, sibling, or any one else in one’s life has a drinking problem. It affects how young people are treated and it shapes their world. In an Alateen meetin, teens can find support and understanding from people their own age who are going through similar difficulties.
Alateen is part of the Al-Anon Family Groups; Al-Anon meetings are for anyone affected by someone else’s drinking. If there’s no Alateen meeting available to you, you are always welcome to attend an Al-Anon meeting.
Alateen is for young people whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking. Sometimes the active drinking has stopped, or the active drinker may not live with us anymore. Even though the alcohol may be gone, and the alcoholic gone or recovering in AA, we are still affected. Many of us have received help from Alateen or Al-Anon.
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 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,” or “keep my room clean,” or “do anything you want,” in exchange for a promise that the drinking and fighting 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 abusive behavior?
- Do you avoid dating or having close friends because they may find out about the drinking or fighting?
- Do you think your problems would be solved if the drinking stopped?
- Do you ever treat teachers, friends, team-mates, etc. unfairly because you are angry about someone else’s drinking?
Reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.
For more information, go the the Al-Anon/Alateen World Service Organization website by clicking on the following links:
Teens Talk About Alateen,