We don’t know of any fellowships specifically for young people, although some may exist. However, both AA and NA have groups that consist primarily of younger members. Generally their ages range from the mid-teens to mid-20’s, but it’s not unusual to find a few older members as well, and that’s a good thing. People with substantial time in recovery provide the continuity that a group needs.
A check with the Intergroup office in your area will get you the information you need on when and where to find young people’s groups. There are young people’s meetings, conventions, and a variety of other activities aimed at both newcomers and younger folks with some time under their belts, and they are a wonderful way to become engaged in activities within the fellowship.
We’ve always recommended that people go to a variety of meetings: open, closed, discussion, beginner’s, book meetings, young people’s, and so forth. There’s no question that it is easier to relate to those who are closer to our age and at about the same point in recovery. However, we need to remember that while we may feel more like they are our kind of people, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are in a position to provide everything we need to work a program.
If we are uncomfortable with old-timers because we believe they’re judging our recovery, perhaps we need to get to know a few of them and get their actual opinions, instead of assuming that we can read their minds. We may be surprised. And they may have a lot to offer us, once we decide to talk to them. After all, they’re the ones with the track record and experience.
It’s a good idea to mix up our program friends, concentrating not on their ages but instead on the quality of their recovery — but don’t skip the young people’s activities. They’re the fastest track to healthy fun in recovery, and if you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong.
It’s also worth mentioning that both AA and NA have “sister” organizations for young people with recovering parents, other family members, or friends. Check out Nar-Anon Family Groups or Al-Anon Family Groups for more information.