Family & Friends
What can I do to support my loved one in overcoming their drinking problem?
How does Al-Anon work?
Helping a loved one with a drinking problem is not easy, as alcoholism is complex and involves many related issues. However, Al-Anon can provide support and guidance on how to cope with the challenges of someone else’s drinking. It may also be beneficial to examine your own behaviors that may worsen the situation and find healthier ways to respond. Al-Anon’s “One Day at a Time” approach simplifies the complex problem of alcoholism and attending Al-Anon meetings can provide insight from others who have faced similar challenges. Al-Anon helps members understand that problem drinking is a family illness and by gaining insight into their role in the family, they can better contribute to the family’s future. Research suggests that involving family members in a family recovery program like Al-Anon can increase the chances of success for those in recovery from alcoholism.
Resources for Professionals
Al-Anon and Alateen are supportive communities of peers who share their experiences in applying the principles of Al-Anon to deal with the effects of a loved one’s problem drinking. These groups are not group therapy sessions and are not led by professional counselors or therapists, but they complement and support professional treatment.
Alateen specifically caters to teenagers who are struggling with the impacts of someone else’s drinking. Alateen groups often meet simultaneously with Al-Anon groups at the same location, and meetings are exclusively for teenagers. Alateen is not a program for young people seeking sobriety.
No formalities are required to attend an Al-Anon or Alateen meeting, such as advance notification or written referrals. Anyone who is affected by someone else’s drinking is welcome to attend.
There are no dues or fees associated with these groups. They are self-supporting, and voluntary contributions are collected during meetings to cover expenses like rent or Al-Anon literature.
It is encouraged to suggest Al-Anon to clients, even if they downplay the seriousness of the alcohol problem. According to the 2015 Al-Anon membership survey, 40% of newcomers initially came to Al-Anon due to a loved one’s drug addiction and later realized the severity of the person’s alcohol problem after attending Al-Anon for a while.
What Is Al-Anon and Alateen?
Al-Anon is a supportive community that offers mutual aid to those whose lives have been impacted by someone else’s drinking. Through sharing common experiences and applying the principles of Al-Anon, families and friends of alcoholics can make positive changes in their individual situations, regardless of whether the alcoholic recognizes their drinking problem or seeks help.
As part of the Al-Anon Family Groups, Alateen is a fellowship specifically designed for young people, primarily teenagers, who have been affected by someone else’s drinking, whether the person is currently drinking or not. By participating in Alateen, teenagers have the opportunity to connect with peers who share similar situations. It’s important to note that Alateen is not a religious program and there are no fees or dues associated with membership.
For more information, please visit: Al-Anon and Alateen