Thursday, January 2, 2014

What Is Al-Anon?

Al-Anon is a fellowship of people who are relatives or friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength, and hope in order to solve their problems. They meet to encourage each other, while the person they love gets help with alcohol addiction. The group’s entire purpose is to help families of alcoholics . Al-Anon uses the 12 Steps in family systems therapy in order to deal with addictive issues, alcoholic issues, and dysfunctional family issues.

 Alcoholism is a family disease, and it’s estimated that each alcoholic affects the lives of four other people. The affected people can find solutions, and hope in the rooms of Al-Anon. Many families feel they are being held hostage by the addict they care about. Because of this, immense damage is done to their relationship. However, with time, many relationships heal and tranquility replaces discord.

 Some people affected by addicts feel isolated and alone. It’s not an easy subject to bring up, so they keep quiet out of fear of rejection and judgement. It’s a very complicated problem, but the people in the rooms of Al-Anon don’t judge, they offer help and fellowship in a very effective way.

Symbol of Al-Anon

Al-Anon teaches that people affected by addicts are not to blame. They talk about the three C’s. Family didn’t cause the addiction, they can’t cure it, and they can’t control it. Many parents, or those closest to the addict feel guilty for their loved one’s addiction. Loved ones are not responsible. 

 Al-Anon guides people to focus on themselves, rather than the addicted person in their family, neighborhood, or social group. It teaches people that they do not have control over other people, places, and situations, so the only person they can change is themselves.

 When a person in a family gives up the illusion of controlling others, and becomes more healthy, he changes his family or social situation for the better. When one person becomes healthier, the entire system usually becomes healthier as well.

Al-Anon does not teach people to leave alcoholics or addicts, but it offers tools to help them have peace, serenity, and healthy boundaries in difficult situations.

Al-Anon offers guidance to people even if the addict they love doesn’t choose to quit. It teaches them to rise above pandemonium and take control of their lives.

 Many members of Al-Anon attend weekly meetings, read the Al-Anon book, Courage to Change, and get a same-sex Al-Anon sponsor. The principals of Al-Anon are often reiterated and reinforced in drug and alcohol rehab centers that offer family programs.  If someone you love is suffering from addiction, remember the three C's (you didn't cause it and you cant cure or control it). However, you can point them in the right direction and Passport to Recovery offers a list of addiction treatment centers that can help them recover.

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