Al-Anon Opening Statement

'We Urge You to Try Our Program'

Group Meeting
Opening Statement Explains How It Works. © Getty Images

At most 12-step groups, the newcomer is considered the most important person at the meeting. Consequently, most meetings begin with a statement that explains to newcomers at the meeting how the meeting and the program works.

At most Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, members read from Chapter 5 of the book "Alcoholics Anonymous," known as the Big Book. The chapter is entitled "How it Works" and includes the 12 steps.

Likewise, at Al-Anon meetings newcomers learn how it works from the opening and closing statements usually read at each meeting, along with the 12 steps and 12 traditions.

Below is the opening welcome usually read by the chairperson and most Al-Anon Family Group meetings. It describes to newcomers what they can expect to receive as a result of working the 12-step program and attending meetings:

The Al-Anon Opening Statement

We welcome you to this Al-Anon Family Group meeting, and hope you will find in this fellowship the help and friendship we have been privileged to enjoy.

We who live, or have lived, with the problem of alcoholism understand as perhaps few others can. We, too, were lonely and frustrated but in Al-Anon we discover that no situation is really hopeless and that it is possible for us to find contentment and even happiness, whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not.

We urge you to try our program.

It has helped many of us find solutions that lead to serenity. So much depends on our own attitudes, and as we learn to place our problem in its true perspective, we find it loses its power to dominate our thoughts and our lives.

The family situation is bound to improve as we apply the Al-Anon ideas.

Without such spiritual help living with an alcoholic is too much for most of us. Our thinking becomes distorted by trying to force solutions, and we become irritable and unreasonable without knowing it.

The Al-Anon program is based on the suggested Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, which we try, little by little, one day at a time, to apply to our lives along with our slogans and the Serenity Prayer. The loving interchange of help among members and daily reading of Al-Anon literature thus make us ready to receive the priceless gift of serenity.

Al-Anon is an anonymous fellowship. Everything that is said here, in the group meeting and member-to-member, must be held in confidence. Only in this way can we feel free to say what is on our minds and in our hearts, for this is how we help one another in Al-Anon.

Suggested Preamble To The Twelve Steps

The Al-Anon Family Groups are a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength and hope in order to solve their common problems. We believe alcoholism is a family illness and that changed attitudes can aid in recovery.

Al-Anon is not allied with any sect, denomination, political entity, organization or institution.

It does not engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any cause. There are no dues for membership. Al-Anon is self-supporting through its own voluntary contributions.

Al-Anon has but one purpose to help families of alcoholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps, by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholics, and by giving understanding and encouragement to the alcoholic.


Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. "Suggested Opening Statement." Conference Approved Literature 2016.

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