Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to make an appointment to attend a meeting?
No there is no requirement to make an appointment. You can attend any meeting whose location and time work for you. We suggest initially that you try a variety of meetings.
Alateen groups often meet at the same time and location as an Al-Anon group. Alateen meetings are open only to teenagers (and sometimes pre-teen aged children).

How do I find a meeting?
We suggest you visit this link to our page listing meetings across New Zealand https://www.al-anon.org.nz/meetings to select a meeting time and place that works for you.

Do I have to say anything in the meeting?
It is your choice to speak or not during the meetings, we like to say “there are no musts in Al-Anon”. Newcomers are welcomed to meetings, usually provided with literature and a local meeting list, and invited to listen and learn. Members are normally available to answer questions before or after the meetings.

What will the meeting be like? What will happen?
Typically a sharing meeting will open with a standard explanation and then The Twelve Steps and The Twelve Traditions (and often The Twelve Concepts of Service) will be read. After that there will be a small amount of administration. Then chair person (who will often change from week to week) will announce the topic and may provide some literature to start to guide the meeting. Then there will be a chance to share (if you wish). After a set period of time the meeting will be closed.
There is a variation from meeting to meeting as each meeting has autonomy.

What if my friend or loved one is an addict, can I still go?
Yes. The focus of Al-Anon is to solve the common problems experienced by families and friends of alcoholics. However, you are welcome to attend Al-Anon meetings to see if you can relate to what people talk about, and then decide if the Al-Anon program might be helpful to you.

How long is the meeting?
Meetings are typically anywhere from one hour to one and a half hours. They vary slightly as every meeting is autonomous and sets its’ own timeframes.

Who will I meet there?
Members of the groups are people affected by someone else’s drinking. They may be parents, children, spouses, partners, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandchildren, other family members, friends, employers, employees, and coworkers of alcoholics. No matter what our specific experience has been we share a common bond: we feel our lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking.

How much is it going to cost?
There are no dues or fees in Al-Anon and Alateen meetings. Most groups pass a basket for voluntary contributions. Members are asked to contribute what they can afford, so that the group can pay rent, provide literature, and offer support to local and worldwide service centres.

Why do I need to go to a meeting? I am not the one with a drinking problem
Anyone concerned by another’s drinking will benefit from attending an Al-Anon meeting. Initially there is the simple relief of realising you are not alone, and there are then many useful tools to help with dealing with another’s drinking.
You do not have to decide to become a member, you may just attend a variety of meetings and see if Al-Anon has anything to offer that you might find useful.