Most people have heard of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), but by design, AA is most helpful for individuals who themselves are struggling with alcohol addiction. Yet, addiction is a disease that affects the whole family. Family members can attend open AA meetings, but these gatherings aren’t designed to offer support to the families. How can parents, siblings, children, and other family members affected by addiction get the support that they also need? One option is Al-Anon.
What is Al-Anon?
Al-Anon, or Al-Anon Family Groups, is a support group program specifically for individuals whose life has been impacted by another person’s drinking. The idea of this organization is that by sharing experiences and applying the principles of Al-Anon “families and friends of alcoholics can bring positive changes to their individual situations, whether or not the alcoholic admits the existence of a drinking problem or seeks help”. Al-Anon members may:
- Develop methods to cope with the challenges of a loved one’s drinking
- Identify and alter behaviors that affect another person’s drinking
- Learn more productive ways to communicate with someone who drinks
- Learn from other people’s experiences
- Hear how Al-Anon has helped others
- Develop an understanding of how addiction is a family disease
- Build an understanding of their own role in the disease
- Improve the chances of success for the individual struggling with alcoholism
Who Benefits from Al-Anon?
Al-Anon is primarily designed to help resolve issues that commonly arise for family and friends of a struggling alcoholic. That being said, some people aren’t sure if Al-Anon is the right program for them. If you are being impacted by an alcoholic spouse, partner, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, or friend, then Al-Anon may be an invaluable resource to you. You can always join a meeting, listen in, talk with a few current members, and determine whether you feel Al-Anon could be helpful to you.
Alternative Alcohol Addiction Support Groups for Families
Although Al-Anon is a tremendous resource for countless people, it may not be the best option for everyone. There are a number of alternative support group options for those impacted by someone else’s alcoholism. These include:
- Alateen – A support group program for teens whose family member and friend’s alcohol use has caused a personal impact
- Nar-Anon – A support group program for family members and friends of individuals addicted to narcotics
- SMART Recovery Family & Friends – A science-based support group program for people impacted by a loved one’s addiction
Family Resources at Level Up
At Level Up Lake Worth, we don’t just help our patients, but we help their families as well. Our Family Solutions Specialists work with the families of our patients to support them through this journey which we know affects them too. This includes encouraging participation in the recovery process, introducing them to the various resources and programs available to both the patient and the family, and answering any lingering questions. You and your family can get better together with the help of Level Up Lake Worth.