How does Alcoholics Anonymous (Al-Anon) Help Addicts?

posted in: General | 0

Watching a loved one fall under the spell of alcoholism is heartbreaking. You find yourself feeling helpless, even traumatized, by your loved one’s alcoholism. You want to help your loved one, but you are unsure how to go about it. During this process of wanting to help your loved one, you forget that you are also suffering greatly from your loved one’s alcoholism. You may feel as if you are alone in this world, and that no one can possibly understand what you are going through.

In 1951, two women by the name of Anne and Lois formed Al-Anon. Al-Anon is derived from the first half of the words “Alcoholics Anonymous.” These meetings came to pass because loved ones of alcoholics needed a place to go for support. Lois, the co-founder of Al-Anon, needed help herself, as she dealt with an alcoholic husband, Bill, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. She wondered why she felt so unhappy in her marriage to Bill. She went to regular AA meetings with him, but stopped. She realized that she needed a place to go for her own spiritual growth. She and Anne created Al-Anon. It was not long before Al-Anon adopted the 12-step program. The program uses the 12 steps word for word, with the exception of the 12th step.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Why do people come to Al-Anon?

Al-Anon focuses primarily on the issues that many families and friends of alcoholics face on a regular basis. Individuals may realize that all of their time is focused on taking care of their alcoholic loved one. They may find themselves taking on the role of the rope in a tug-of-war match between their alcoholic loved one and another person.

Individuals come to Al-Anon meetings in order to find help for their alcoholic loved one(s). During the Al-Anon experience, individuals realize that they need help and understanding, as they are somewhat traumatized by their loved one’s alcoholism. Many who come to Al-Anon blame themselves for their inability to control their loved one’s drinking habits.

What makes Al-Anon a healing experience for families and friends of alcoholics?

In Al-Anon, individuals are able to find support from the group leaders and other members. Morale begins to improve as individuals recognize what is happening in their families. They start to assign responsibility, for all that is happening, to the disease. Individuals learn to forgive themselves and accept their family members’ flaws. Group leaders encourage members to spend time focusing on themselves and not on their loved one. What ends up happening is a change of attitude, a change of heart, and spiritual growth.

When both the loved one and the alcoholic are active in their respective groups, Al-Anon and Alcoholics Anonymous, relationships between the two improve dramatically. Spouses become happier in their marriages, and they are able to work together to rebuild their family.

It is important to note that Al-Anon is not an intervention program. Al-Anon does not assist in family interventions. Al-Anon is a support network of loved ones, who simply need a place to heal and to grow.

Leave a Reply