Affects the Entire Family...
Not Just the Alcoholic
How many people
are involved in the life of any one alcoholic? Family, friends,
employer, co-workers It is important to remember that all
these people are affected by alcoholismnot just the alcoholic.
Many of them spend a lot of time and energy trying to "fix"
the alcoholic: covering up for them, punishing them, taking responsibility
For over 50 years, Al-Anon Family Groups (including Alateen for
younger members) has been providing help and hope to families and
friends of alcoholics. In non-professional, mutual support meetings,
members share their own experience, strength, and hope to help one
another to recover from the effects of alcoholism.
alcoholism has been described as living on a merry-go-round, where
each family member, friend, and employer plays a role with the alcoholics
in their lives. These behavior patterns are like the script of a
play, repeated over and over, centering on the alcoholic. A player
can learn a new role by attending Al-Anon, gaining understanding
of the disease of alcoholism and how it has affected them. When
this happens, and the person changes their behavior, they are rewriting
There is no guarantee that the alcoholic will change,
but the alternative is staying on the "merry-go-round."
Insanity can be defined as "doing the same thing over and over
and expecting different results." Changing one's behavior
can be uncomfortable and very difficult to do, but members learn
that they have to take responsibility for themselves and their own
alcoholic is still drinking or not, all family members and friends
are welcome in Al-Anon. When anyone in a family enters recovery,
the family itself will begin to change. The Al-Anon Suggested Welcome
says, "The family situation is bound to improve as we apply
the Al-Anon ideas. Without such spiritual help, living with an alcoholic
is too much for most of us. Our thinking becomes distorted by trying
to force solutions, and we become irritable and unreasonable without
Based upon the
Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon Family Groups (which
includes Alateen for younger members) provides non-professional,
free, and confidential support for families and friends of alcoholics.
Parents, children, spouses, partners, friends, grandparents, and
co-workers of problem drinkers can find hope and help in Al-Anon/Alateen.
There are over 26,000 Al-Anon and Alateen groups in 115 countries.
For more information about Al-Anon/Alateen in your community, call
1-888-4-AL-ANON (weekdays, 8 am to 6 pm ET) or visit the Web site,