Al-Anon is an international program whose purpose is to support the family and friends of those recovering from alcoholism. It was founded because it is generally accepted that the family of an alcoholic tends to be dysfunctional and also needs recovery.
Al-Anon's program is the same 12 Steps as Alcoholics Anonymous, but family and friends recognize they are powerless over the alcohol their alcoholic consumes, and, in fact, are also powerless over the alcoholic. The basic text of Al-Anon is One Day At A Time in Al-Anon. Al-Anon members meet regularly to share their experience strength and hope.
Meetings or groups are found in 115 countries around the world. They range in size from a few people, to as many as 25 or more. Most groups meet once a week. Meeting styles include: speaker meetings where one or two members share the story of their recovery from a podium; discussion meetings where members share their experience with a particular topic, and step studies where members discuss their experience working with the 12 Steps.
Membership in Al-Anon is informal. The only requirement for membership is that one has a family member or friend who is alcoholic. Anonymity is taken seriously, protecting both the Al-Anon member and the alcoholic.
It is important to recognize that Al-Anon is NOT designed to show someone how to get an alcoholic to stop drinking. Rather, its purpose is to show family and friends how to recover from the effects of living in a family with an alcoholic, whether the alcoholic is in recovery or not.