Al Anon The Support
For The Alcoholic’s Family
Al-Anon is a group of men, women and children whose lives have been negatively affected by alcoholism and the
compulsive drinking of a family member or close friend.
Al-Anon is a spiritual program but not a religious one. The members seek to improve themselves and to not
criticize or condemn the alcoholics.
The purpose of Al-Anon is to offer comfort, hope, and friendship to the family and friends of compulsive
The atmosphere is provided for the members to share their experiences and to be able to learn from each other
and to support each other.
It also teaches the twelve steps that are taught in Alcoholics Anonymous and how the family and friends can use
the steps themselves to work through the process of dealing with the alcoholic.
Al-Anon has four simple slogans:
First things first.
Live and let live.
Easy does it.
Let go and let God.
The purpose of these slogans is for the members to meditate on them and to help the members deal with the
alcoholic in a positive manner without gossip, nagging and arguing.
Al-Anon is also designed to take place while the alcoholic is at A.A. meetings to keep the family and friends
from feeling left out and lonely and to fill that void in a constructive way.
Initially, it is necessary for the alcoholic to spend a significant amount of time involved in A.A. Al-Anon can
help the family members in particular to deal with the large amounts of time seeking sobriety can require.
The Al-Anon meetings are usually opened with a moment of silence and are closed with a prayer.
They are led by a chairperson who facilitates the sharing sessions, plans new meetings, and even schedules guest
speakers to share their experiences with A.A. and Al-Anon.
The twelve steps of A.A. are studied in depth and the members learn how the alcoholic is using the steps and how
to incorporate the steps into their own lives.
It is not necessary or the alcoholic to attending A.A. for their family members and friends to attend Al-Anon.
Many times this can lead the alcoholic to A.A. and to seeking help.
Did You Know
The problems that come from being raised by an alcoholic are generally
environmental and with a lot of hard work can be overcome.
Generally, when a child is raised around alcohol and excessive drinking there is a
tendency for that child to use alcohol as adults.
Many times children grow up and conduct themselves and their families in a way that
is very similar to the way they were raised.
It takes a conscious effort to "break the cycle" of addiction that they have
witnessed and not carry on that same lifestyle to their children.
The problems that are genetic are more difficult to overcome but once the child is
aware that her or she will have a tendency toward addiction they can change the way they deal with
stress and other risk factors to help avoid alcoholism.
A gene can determine whether a person will have a tendency toward an addiction
toward alcohol. In addition, there are personality
and mental health examinations that can be done that can let a person know if they are at risk of
being an addict.
Professional addiction counselors recommend that if a person has the gene or tests
positive on the examinations they should abstain from the use of alcohol.
The genetic push toward addiction is so strong that to tempt the body by using
addictive substances is considered risky behavior and should not be attempted.
There are Al-Anon family groups that are designed for all family members of all ages of the alcoholic to
The purposes are much the same but it gives a platform for the families to work together.
Especially for young children to learn about alcoholism and that it is a disease cannot be controlled.
There is another group called Al-Ateen that is designed for the teenage children of alcoholics to have a group
that is specifically designed to meet their needs.
If a family member is worrying you with their behavor when they are drinking, make
arrangements so that you have a safe place to go when their drinking gets out of hand.
They can meet and talk to other teens their ages that are going through very similar things that they are
Again, to be members of these groups, the alcoholics in the people’s lives do not need to be in A.A. or even
in treatment of any kind.
Whether or not the alcoholic has found sobriety, the family members and friends can learn a lot about how to
help themselves through the situation.