Q. I’ve never heard of Families Anonymous. Are you new?
A. Families Anonymous is celebrating our 40th Anniversary in 2011. We were formed in 1971 by a group of concerned parents in California who were seeking ways of dealing with the problem of substance abuse and addiction in their children. Our members include parents, grandparents, siblings, spouses, significant others, other family members and friends of those with a current, suspected or former drug problem. We have been one of the best kept secrets in the recovery community, even though we have groups throughout the world.
Q. Who does FA serve?
A. Families Anonymous is for those relatives and friends of those who suffer from a current, suspected or former problem of substance abuse or related behavioral problem. Our meetings are open to all.
Q. Should the Addict attend FA Meetings?
A. While one can perhaps envision some benefit of the addict hearing about the impact of their poor decisions on their loved ones, the problems created far outweigh any benefit. Having qualifiers at our meetings take the focus off of us and place it back on the addict who brought us to the meetings. It is highly recommended that groups clearly establish a policy discouraging or banning attendance by addicts.
Q. Is FA affiliated with any other group such as AA, NA, Al-Anon, etc?
A. No. FA is a 12 Step Recovery program that is similar to groups such as Al-Anon or NarAnon, but we have no affiliation with any other group, treatment program, or governmental agency.
Q. Is there any cost to attend meetings?
A. There are no dues or fees required for membership. FA Members contribute whatever they are comfortable with as all groups are fully self-supporting. Donations go to help pay for the rent for the meeting rooms, literature and helping the fellowship carry the message of recovery through the support of the World Service Office.
Q. BUT I’M NOT THE ONE WHO NEEDS HELP. WHY SHOULD I ATTEND MEETINGS?
A. Addiction is a family illness that impacts the lives of every member of the family. In our meetings, we learn how we can stop being part of the problem and become part of the solution. We can learn to find peace and serenity by practicing the FA program, even in the midst of the chaos and insanity.
Q. Do you get any financial support from any grants or governmental drug or alcohol programs?
A. No. Our Traditions specifically prohibit us from accepting any outside contributions from any source. All costs of running the FA programs must come from the sale of our literature and donations from our members and member groups.
Q. I can’t find a meeting close to me. What should I do?
A. While we have meetings in 35 U.S. States and more than 15 countries, with more starting all the time, there are those who cannot locate a meeting nearby. We first recommend using our meeting locator and see if there is a meeting nearby. However, if you are not fortunate enough to have one, FA’s solution to that challenge has been the creation of our FA E-meeting, an online email meeting that is available 24/7 or our Meeting Without Walls group, which meet three times each week. Information on both of these groups can be found in our FA Meetings section of the website.