If you’re not familiar with a program called Al-Anon and you are living with someone who suffers from an addiction to alcohol or another substance, then this article may be important for you to read. Al-Anon is an international non-profit organization that utilizes a 12-step program similar to the one made famous by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
However, Al-Anon is a program created specifically for adults and teens that are not alcoholics or addicts themselves, but are dealing with a family member, friend or spouse who is battling alcoholism or addiction. The Al-Anon program was founded in 1951 by a woman named Lois Wilson, as a program for people living with people in the AA program. Lois Wilson’s husband was Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.
If You Live with an Alcoholic or Addict
The Al-Anon program offers peace of mind and stress-relieving tactics for people who are living with alcoholics. As such, the reading material provided by Al-Anon is different than the material you would receive as a member of AA.
Being an alcoholic and going through treatment can be a difficult journey, but so can being the family member or spouse of someone getting treatment. Often, the sober family members are abused, neglected or disregarded while the loved one battles the disease of alcoholism or addiction. In fact, the people close to the alcoholic or addict are going through a battle of their own.
Al-Anon Teaches Hope
If you have a loved one who is in AA, and even if your loved one is not an AA member, you might consider taking part in the Al-Anon program. You’re going to learn about what your loved one is going through, and you’ll gain a better understanding of his or her struggles to get sober. Couples who participate in the Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon programs together can end up with a stronger relationship. They can become more in tune with their partner's needs and become better parents in the process.
You Can Find Support through Al-Anon
It is widely believed that there are only positives associated with being a part of these programs. Alcoholism can have devastating effects on the people who are around the alcoholic. It is important to remember that even if you are not the person who is dealing with addiction to alcohol or another substance, you most likely need treatment and support for yourself because of all you go through.
Al-Anon offers programs for families of alcoholics, with special meetings and literature geared to the children of alcoholics, as well as to the spouse. Know that the help you need is available at Al-Anon, and you are encouraged to take advantage of the resources, support and sense of hope the organization can provide.