Al-Anon Family Groups: Origins, Conceptual Basis, Outcomes, and Research Opportunities
Al-Anon Family Groups, commonly known as Al-Anon, is a mutual-help organization for relatives and friends of people misusing alcohol and other substances. We first summarize Al-Anon's history and current membership and then describe its theoretical basis and helping approach. We review evidence for Al-Anon's active ingredients and outcomes and present a conceptual model to guide future research. Research opportunities include understanding Al-Anon newcomers, specifying Al-Anon's active ingredients, and examining potential synergistic influences between Al-Anon participation and identified substance misusers? participation in mutual-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. We suggest that mutual-help and professional communities work together to facilitate early participation in Al-Anon by shortening the time between problem recognition and seeking help from the fellowship.