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Can I Go to Al-Anon Meetings if I’m an Alcoholic?

Everyone knows AA meetings are for alcoholics and Al-Anon meetings are for their families. In reality, though, that distinction isn’t always so clear. If you are an alcoholic, it’s likely someone else in your family is also an alcoholic. That might mean you grew up with an alcoholic parent or grandparent, or it might mean your child is an alcoholic. It runs in families.

Addicts also tend to be attracted to each other. Often, both partners in a relationship have trouble with addiction and codependency. Sometimes people meet in treatment or AA and are both in recovery. Usually, life starts improving pretty quickly once an addict get sober, but it may take some time for that improvement to extend to his relationships. Old pattern and grudges may persist for a while. That is to say, sobriety doesn’t instantly solve all your problems.

In short, if you are an addict or alcoholic, you probably have other addicts or alcoholics in your life and you might need support dealing with them. The fact that you, yourself, are an alcoholic is irrelevant. If you do decide to attend Al-Anon, there’s no need to mention your addiction history. It’s actually better not to unless there’s a good reason. Al-Anon is for people with alcoholics in their lives, and if that applies to you, you have every right to be there.

Another reason you might want to attend Al-Anon meetings is to better understand how your addiction has affected the people in your life. The nature of addiction is to be preoccupied with the drug and with your own problems. You may be aware that your drinking harmed people around you but you may be hazy on the specifics. Al-Anon meetings are a chance to see your addiction from the perspective of the people in your life.

As always, your recovery should be your priority. Getting sober and staying sober should come before any idea of going to Al-Anon. If you do go, remember it’s not AA. Stay focused on dealing with issues related to your loved one in active addiction and do more listening than talking.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to alcohol or other drugs, Gardens Wellness Center can help you detox safely and decide on a treatment strategy. Call us today at 844-325-9168 or email us at to learn more.