Do Alanon Meeting Online Really Provide Support?

By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited: December 05, 2020 | 4 Sources


What You Need to Know


What is a Alanon Meeting Online?

At its core, Alanon Meeting online provides support and encouragement for people who love an alcoholic. It’s no secret that finding support for families of alcoholics can be challenging for someone who is new to this. Al-anon meetings and Alanon Online, contrary to popular belief, are not directly affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous.

They have similarities in the way they operate, however they are different organizations.

Both organizations provide education about addiction and social support surrounding the difficulties that accompany having someone in your life struggling with addiction.

Electronic meetings, such as Alanon Meeting Online, provide hope and help to any individual who is affected by alcoholism in a friend or family member. Al-Anon can help everyone function better and feel more confident. It also helps with learning how to set healthy boundaries. Every Al‑Anon member is accountable for keeping the meetings concentrated on Al‑Anon recovery and Al‑Anon related issues and topics. 

Anonymity and confidentiality vary from platform to platform. It’s the responsibility of every Al‑Anon member to know how to keep personal anonymity when joining in an electronic Al‑Anon meeting.

Who can benefit from Alanon online meetings

To attend an Alanon Meeting Online, the only requirement is that you are a person worried about someone in your life who has a drinking problem. This can be a partner, a parent, a sibling, extended family members, your children, or a close friend.

You may be in recovery yourself. Or, you may have never struggled with addiction. 

Of course, the reality is that being involved with someone struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction is one of the most difficult and painful things imaginable to deal with. You've watched the person you once fell in love with destroy themselves with alcohol or drugs ...

Attending your first Alanon Meeting Online can be quite nerve-racking, as many new experiences can be. Try to find a local meeting in an area that is familiar to you as this may bring you some comfort knowing your surroundings.

Alanon Meeting Online can be an informative place for individuals who don’t know too much about alcohol addiction and what recovery can look like. Meetings can be a place where you learn about common behaviors among individuals who struggle with addiction such as tumultuous relationships, lying, and being focused on their next drink.


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What to Expect in a  Alanon Meeting Online

Alanon Meeting Online have one main goal– to help the friends and families of alcoholics cope with the alcoholic.  A second goal is to provide education about Alcoholism so that everyone is more knowledgeable about common behaviors and difficulties among Alcoholics. Knowledge is power when it comes to addiction. 

Similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, it is recommended that the main meetings a person attends are the in-person meetings. Having real interaction is important for feeling supported. 

However, the Al-anon organization does acknowledge that there are situations where online meetings are preferred. These instances may include:

  • Having a lack of reliable childcare
  • Limited to no access to local meetings
  • Having mobility or disability issues that make attending local meetings challenging
  • Feeling unsafe or uncomfortable at local meetings
  • Having a busy work schedule that interferes with meeting times. 


In recent years, there has been significant growth in the availability of Al-anon meetings available online and with other platforms. In the past, it was challenging to search and find a meeting so this is a positive development.

To look for an Alanon meeting online, you can visit alanon meeting online. You will find a list of meetings available to you.

alanon-meeting-onlinePhoto by Noah Silliman

Finding an Alanon Meeting Online Near You

To get started, you can google Al-anon meetings or simply go to Alanon meeting online. Once there, you will see several options to choose from; Al-anon meetings, Alateen meetings, Electronic meetings, and a directory of World Wide Al-anon connections.

One thing to note is that Alateen meetings are specifically for teens who have parents, guardians or other adults in their life that struggle with alcohol addiction.

When looking for a local meeting, you should be able to choose the day of the week that you would like to attend a meeting or filter by the time that you are available. There is even the option to look for meetings that are in languages other than English.  

The hope is that this is a fairly simple search for you. Local meetings offered can vary as a result of travel restrictions and group limitations for health and safety concerns.  

The Online Al-Anon Outreach (OLA) website is where you can find links to the official Al-Anon meetings on the web. In the past, an official Alanon meeting online is done mainly in a  chat format with a javascript powering the Alanon chat rooms.

More recently, platforms available for meetings include:

    Facebook messenger, Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, Discord App, Email and Free Conference Call App. 

This advancement has made utilizing electronic meetings simpler and more accessible to individuals who would like to participate. Email groups tend to provide more consistent support compared to a meeting, so this is a slightly different experience than the other options. 

There are several groups available through online platforms, some of which offer support 24 hours a day 7 days a week. With this availability, it is difficult to think of a reason why someone would not be able to participate in Alanon if they wanted to.

When searching for meetings, you should have an idea of what kind of support or characteristics of a group you would like. 

    Do you want mentor-ship?Do you simply want more friends who can hold you accountable?Do you want practical coping skills to manage your emotions?

Answering these questions can help you narrow down the meeting options that are best for you. 

Be mindful of what groups you feel comfortable in and continue attending them. Talking and sharing in these groups are recommended as it is in AA meetings. It allows you to say your thoughts out loud as well as receive feedback on them.

You may feel validated for your thoughts and feelings regarding your loved one.

Unofficial Alanon Meetings

As mentioned, Al‑Anon is a mutual support group. Everybody at the Al-anon meeting shares as an equal. Nobody is in a position of power. 

Some Alanon meetings are more unofficial group gatherings. These are also permissible options that may benefit you. A simple Google search will likely provide you with a list of other online meetings that are not affiliated with Al-anon.

These meetings function in a similar format as Alanon meeting online, however are not included in the same organization. Exercise caution if you choose to take this route. This can be for both in-person and online meetings. 

You should be able to find an Al-Anon meeting online that uses video conferencing so that there is a more realistic atmosphere to the meeting. Other options will utilize similar online platforms as the official Alanon meetings.

While the meetings listed on OLA will follow the usual protocols of an offline meeting, the unofficial Al-Anon meeting online may not which is important to be aware of when participating in them.

Your best bet would be to try several different meetings, in several different formats, until you figure out which one is most comfortable for you to participate in. 

Finding meetings, both in-person and online, could help you cope with the alcoholic in your life more easily as you'll be able to get support almost around the clock on the internet. Taking care of yourself is just as important as your loved ones taking care of themselves. There are similarities among the family and friends of alcoholics because there are common characteristics and behaviors associated with Alcoholism 

Exercise Caution

There are some who, for their own reasons, like to cause problems during Al-anon meetings. This tends to be more common in online meetings where a person is behind their own computer compared to in the room with others. They may be hostile and insult participants during the meeting. This type of activity is called 'flaming' in web-speak.

If this happens during a meeting you have joined, then it is up to the moderator of the meeting to sort out the 'flamer'. There is no need for you to intervene.

Dealing with an alcoholic, then opening up about your struggles in a group with strangers is a challenge on its own. Having someone making light of such issues is quite inappropriate and not worth your trouble.

If you feel that this experience was not handled correctly, the good news is that there are plenty of meetings available to you. Choose a different meeting and keep trying until you find a batch that you like participating in.

Do you need more resources to help you in dealing with an alcoholic loved one? Contact a treatment provider today. They can also provide you with support to help you get through these trying times.

alanon-meeting

Loving an alcoholic is one of the most painful things you will ever have to cope with. Yet, it doesn't need to be, C.P.Lehman in his book, Help Me! I'm In Love With An Addict gives you the strategies that will enable you to find happiness and get your life back on track...as well as other skills that are crucial when attempting to cope with an alcohol dependent

If you found this page helpful, then you might find the following related pages of interest

    Married to an Alcoholic. Help and advice for those whose spouse is alcohol dependent ,How to Help an Alcoholic. Strategies for helping an alcoholic.Enabling an Alcoholic. Avoid giving an alcoholic the excuse to drink ,Codependency in Relationships. Are you 'addicted' to the alcoholic in your life?Alcoholism Intervention. Confront the alcoholic with the truth.Alcoholism and the Elderly. Elderly alcoholics need specialized care and treatment.Wives of Alcoholics. Look after yourself, not your alcoholic husband.

Teenage Alcoholism. When is teenage alcohol abuse no longer just adolescent experimentation?

"If at any point you're struggling with your sobriety, speak to one of our supportive counselors. With many having first-hand experience, they have been in your shoes. The free chat is confidential & they are available 24/7."
1-877-322-2694

If you found this page helpful, then you might find the following related pages of interest




Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl

Licensed Medical Health Professional 


Hello!

I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More




Sources:

What Happens at Al-Anon Meetings provided by Aces Connection: https://www.acesconnection.com/blog/what-happens-at-al-anon-meetings

Al-Anon Newcomers: Benefits of Continuing Attendance for Six Months provided by the US National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4976777/

Social processes explaining the benefits of Al-Anon participation provided by the American Psychological Association: https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2015-58335-002.

Benefits and Costs of Alcoholic Relationships and Recovery through Al-Anon provided by ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication

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