Can My Friends and Family Come With Me to AA Meetings?
AA meetings are usually open to those who would like to attend, but for the most part, it is best to attend them if you specifically need help for alcoholism or alcohol abuse. There are other options, though, for your friends and family members as well as some meetings where additional attendees are welcome.
Call 800-839-1686Who Answers? to find treatmemt that’s right for your individual needs.
Why Can’t I Bring My Friends and Family to AA?
In most cases, you can bring your friends and family just as someone can come alone and merely observe the meeting itself. However, because of the delicate nature of what is being shared and how important peer support is to members, doing this consistently is not recommended.
Additionally, you should be focused on how the individuals in the meeting can help you and how you can help them instead of on your loved ones at this time. Fortunately, though, this is not a rigid rule, and there are also more options that can allow you to involve your friends and family members in the program.
Open Meetings in AA
There are certain days in some AA programs called open meetings. During these meetings, anyone is welcome to come. This would be a good time to bring your loved one to the program and to help them see what it is like.
The members will be aware that this is the situation and often be more comfortable knowing that non-members are present. You can find out if your AA program has open meetings and when they are by talking to your sponsor or someone else in the program.
Al-Anon for Loved Ones
If you believe your family members or friends would benefit from AA but they are not alcoholics themselves, there is a separate program that exists specifically for them. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Al-Anon Family Groups “helps family and friends recover from the effects of someone else’s drinking through a 12-step program including regular attendance at group meetings.”
These meetings will be specifically catered to your loved ones and their needs as well as to helping them lead better, happier lives and become more comfortable with their own feelings about your alcohol abuse.
Members often discuss their feelings about their loved ones’ abuse of substances as well as their lives and how this affects them. They also read the 12 steps together and attempt to practice them in their own lives. This can bring your loved ones closer to you as well as help them deal with their own issues and feelings and your drinking too.
How Can AA Help Me?
AA, and its sister program Al-Anon, can help both you and your loved ones end damaging behavior and lead safer, happier lives. Call 800-839-1686Who Answers? today to find out more about both these programs as well as to find treatment that’s right for you.