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Al-Anon Support Groups

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Addiction treatment resources include help for families struggling to cope with a loved one’s addiction to alcohol. One of those resources includes Al-Anon, an organization that dates back to the 1930s.

This article examines how Al-Anon works, why the organization was established, and how families affected by addiction can find support and strength from Al-Anon meetings.

What is Al-Anon?

When family members affected by addiction, they turn to Al-Alon. It is one of the most widely used support groups for the families of alcoholics. Al-Anon was designed to provide support to these families by giving them a framework with which to better cope with the fear, anger, and frustration that comes from loving and supporting someone with a substance use disorder.

Al-Anon conducts itself in some of the same ways as AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). It is a 12-step program. The Al-Anon website says it is “a mutual support program for people whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking.” A subset of Al-Anon is Alateen, which is designed specifically for young people.

How Does Al-Anon Work?

These group meetings seek to bring together people with a similar history to share their trials and tribulations of dealing with a loved one’s alcohol dependency. The website defines Al-Anon in the following way, “It is a program to help the families of alcoholics recover from the effects of someone else’s drinking.” These meetings are completely confidential, so people can share their stories without fear that they will be shared with others. It gives the caregivers a safe place to work out how to deal with alcoholism in their lives.

Membership in these groups is completely free; a hat is typically passed for voluntary contributions. When attending, you can choose to talk or not share your story at all; how you participate is up to you. The goal of these meetings is to help the loved ones that have been struggling to support the alcoholic find their own recovery from the disease. Members teach each other how to detach from the problems caused by the alcoholic. Then they work together to forgive the transgressions of the substance user.

Benefits of Al-Anon

One regular member of Al-Anon put it this way, “The unique camaraderie of people coming together in a safe forum for a common interest,” is one of the biggest benefits of these groups. It should be noted that these groups are spiritual in nature although the type of spirituality you practice is up to you. Al-Anon simply calls it your “Higher Power” and how you define it is an individual process.

For families or loved ones struggling to cope with the ups and downs of a loved one’s problem drinking, Al-Anon is a solid support resource. The Washington State addiction treatment community benefits greatly from these groups, which are held all over the state each week. While meetings are usually in-person, click here to find groups that are also using digital technology to connect remotely.

If someone you love is battling addiction and is in need of substance abuse treatment, you can learn more about admissions by calling The Recovery Village Ridgefield today. Our representatives are standing by to answer your questions and discuss treatment options for your loved one along with options that will also provide you with support as your loved one begins his or her journey to recovery. Contact us today!