Alcohol and drug addiction affects more than just the addict, the family in many cases suffer the brunt of the chaos that goes hand in hand with addiction. If you think of a pond, lake or body of water and you throw a rock into the calm water, you will see the ripples. These ripples signify how the effects of addiction touch the loved ones of the addict and alcoholic. The family can get help as well. Al-Anon is a self-help recovery program for people who believe their lives may have been affected by someone else’s drinking. We come together to find help and support in dealing with the effects of alcoholism on our lives. The single purpose of these programs is to help families and friends of alcoholics, whether the alcoholic is drinking or not.
Is Al-Anon for You?
Millions of people are affected by the excessive drinking of someone close. These twenty questions are designed to help you decide whether or not Al-Anon could help.
- Do you worry about how much someone else drinks?
- Do you have money problems because of someone else’s drinking?
- Do you tell lies to cover up for someone else’s drinking?
- Do you feel that if the drinker cared about you, he or she would stop drinking to please you?
- Do you blame the drinker’s behavior on his or her companions?
- Are plans frequently upset or canceled or meals delayed because of the drinker?
- Do you make threats, such as, “If you don’t stop drinking, I’ll leave you”?
- Do you secretly try to smell the drinker’s breath?
- Are you afraid to upset someone for fear it will set off a drinking bout?
- Have you been hurt or embarrassed by a drinker’s behavior?
- Are holidays and gatherings spoiled because of drinking?
- Have you considered calling the police for help in fear of abuse?
- Do you search for hidden alcohol?
- Do you ever ride in a car with a driver who has been drinking?
- Have you refused social invitations out of fear or anxiety?
- Do you feel like a failure because you can’t control the drinking?
- Do you think that if the drinker stopped drinking, your other problems would be solved?
- Do you ever threaten to hurt yourself to scare the drinker?
- Do you feel angry, confused, or depressed most of the time?
- Do you feel there is no one who understands your problems?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, Al-Anon or Alateen may be able to help.
What is Alateen?
Alateen is a fellowship of young Al-Anon members, usually teenagers, whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking.
Young People Come Together to:
- share experience, strength and hope with each other
- discuss their difficulties
- learn effective ways to cope with their problems
- encourage one another
- help each other understand the principles of the Al-Anon program
Alateen Members Learn
- compulsive drinking is a disease
- they can detach themselves emotionally from the drinker’s problems while continuing to love the person
- they are not the cause of anyone else’s drinking or behavior
- they cannot change or control anyone but themselves
- they have spiritual and intellectual resources with which to develop their own potentials, no matter what happens at home
- they can build satisfying and rewarding life experiences for themselves