Al-anon is a spin-off of Alcoholics Anonymous, which was begun in 1951. The Al-Anon family groups are a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share experiences, strength, and hope in order to solve their common problems. They believe alcoholism is a family illness, and that recovery can be aided by changing attitudes. Al-Anon is intended to help the family understand that the alcoholic is a person with physical, emotional, and spiritual problems. It's also meant to provide peace of mind, comfort, and reassurance by using the Al-Anon twelve steps and slogans, which outline coping skills to be used when dealing with alcoholic behavior. In many cases, the program is able to help families and friends come to grips with their loved one's disease, and help them to overcome the problem through understanding and support. For more information about Al-anon, consult a local health care professional.