My recovery from addiction is always first and foremost, so attending Al-Anon Meetings is the perfect addition to a pretty good program. It’s not a perfect personal recovery program, but I just do the best I can. I still don’t know how I’ve missed out on this incredible program. It continues to boggle my mind. It’s teaching me how to let go of many concepts, notions, and anxieties that I haven’t been able to work through in AA. Not sure why, but heck, why question success when it happens. Just enjoy it, don’t overanalyze!
I know I can’t change the past, and I work on accepting it as it was – the good, the bad, and the ugly of it – but I do find myself wishing I had the courage and the acceptance to attend Alateen meetings when I was younger. If you are a parent in recovery and with the grace of God reading this blog, think about what you can do to start an Alateen meeting in your school. After all, you are probably not the only addict in recovery in your town, and you know what? your children could use the help, even if they don’t want to admit it right now.
- Community Outreach – What area schools would be able to help? You can figure that out by presenting Al-Anon and Alateen information at faculty workshops, school assemblies, and articles in the school newspaper. Explain how students can be oriented to the program in small groups, as this allows them to freely ask questions and pay attention. During the outreach presentation you can have Al-Anon and Alateen members from other areas speak and answer questions. It’s completely okay to ask teachers to leave during the Q&A portion of the presentation, as this assures confidentiality.
- School Regulations – Check out which schools have what regulations. Often times some schools require a teacher, a counselor, or even a nurse to be in the room next to the meeting, and there are some schools where personnel are required to be in attendance. If personnel attendance is required, you would need to set the Alateen meeting as ‘Open,’ and if this is the case you also need to let the attendees know, as they should limit specific details of certain problems. Only share their feelings. Why? Well, school staff is usually required by law to report certain types of abuse to the appropriate authorities.
- Anonymity – Making sure people understand what anonymity is all about. The meeting room should be physically situated so that it protects the students’ anonymity. What is said at meetings must be kept confidential – whether it is member-to-member or member-to-sponsor. All members of Alateen must protect the anonymity of all members of Al-Anon, Alateen, and AA, therefore members and sponsors do not divulge another member’s sharing to school personnel or others.
There are many more tips, guidelines, and suggestions to holding a Alateen meeting and those can be found at http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/
Recovery Rob BIO
Recovery Rob is a 47-year-old man who has more than nineteen years of sobriety, whose drugs of choice at one time were alcohol and drugs, and he has worked in and around the field of addiction for more than 20 years. Recovery Rob is a professional writer who has published two novels and is currently working on his third. He has been writing and working as Pat Moore Foundation’s premiere blogger and content writer, which helps keeps Pat Moore Foundation’s addiction and recovery blog top-rated.