Al-Anon is a fellowship or comradeship group that is specially designed to help people who are affected by a drinking behavior. This support group is commonly referred to as the Al-Anon Family Group. Alateen, another Al-Anon program, especially helps teens and young adults who have watched friends struggling with alcohol use disorders.
It was founded in 1951 by Anne B., and Lois W. is also the Bill Wilson’s wife, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. The idea of forming Al-Anon initially came by Bill, as a way to consolidate other family groups that were active at that time. Because of this, Al-Anon followed the same 12-Step approach as AA and related it to the family members and friends of alcoholics.
Al-Anon groups are spread across the globe in many cities. Meetings are taken personally, on the phone and online. This thing makes it convenient and accessible to everyone. An individual affected to alcoholism is welcome to take part in Al-Anon group meetings. Other members of the family attend the meetings to get suggestion or advice on how to live with an addicted person who wants to get rid of alcohol.
The Purpose of Al-Anon
Al-Anon treatment program supports the recovery of alcoholism, and it is therefore not related to or has associated with any particular political groups, religious groups, or any other institutions. Similar to Alcoholic Anonymous (AA), Al-Anon is a self-reliable and self-supporting group that is dependent solely on the contributions of its members.
According to the founder and creator of the group, Al-Anon believes that together families and friends of addicts can give hope to each other and help resolve various problems they could face. Alcoholism is recognized as a family disease and is assisting the family members and friends of the loved one who is suffering from addiction.
Members of Al-Anon help with the same 12-Steps that have been the foundation of AA. Through meetings and programs, an individual comes out with the tools and knowledge to better know the warning signs and other lifelong effects of addiction. This information could help and encourage the loved one to achieve sobriety.
What to Expect At An Al-Anon Meeting
Al-Anon groups have the same guidelines to follow but have its unique way of conducting the meetings. All the sessions are begun with a short opening and introductions. Newcomers are also assisted and welcomed during this time and are given some helpful tips like confidential information. The remaining time is given to the other group activities like sharing the experience, strength, and hope. Often after the meeting, hugs are shared that may be accepted and declined.
For all the people who are interested in joining the Al-Anon group, here is a brief explanation:
• Mutual support is provided to everyone who attends a meeting. Every person is considered equally and can offer advice.
• It is always welcome to discuss and ask a question regarding the current circumstances at the Al-Anon meeting.
• Each member is unique in its way and can choose the structure and format of the assembly according to the requirement.
• An individual’s anonymity and privacy are respected at meetings. Members are not permitted to share the names of others in the group under any situation.
• 12-Step reading is expected at the beginning of each session. It could help those who are learning to cope with a heavy drinker.
Is Al-Anon Right for you?
Al-Anon is helpful and result-oriented to many families and friends coping with drinking. Here are some questions before joining the group:
• Do you need to worry about the behavior of a loved one?
• Is there need to worry about the loved one’s drinking habit?
• Do you decline social invitations?
• Does your loved one embarrass you about drinking?
• Do you feel that plans will be changed due to your loved one’s drinking?
• Do you feel confused about how to cope with the loved one’s alcohol use?
If your answer is ‘Yes’ to all these questions, an Al-Anon group may be a beneficial resource.
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