Al-anon, also referred to as the Al-anon Family refers to a fellowship group that serves the purpose of helping individuals whose lives are affected by a loved one’s alcohol abuse. Part of the group is Alateenwhich helps teens and young adults who have had the experience of staying with persons who have an alcohol use disorder (AUD). This means that the group meetings are not for addicts but that they help individuals to recover from the strain of having an addict close to their lives. Whether it is a friend or a family member, the group welcomes everyone.
The meetings try to reach out to as many people as possible. Keep in mind that you may have an addict in your life but the addict will affect several others with their behavior. To help reach out to the many people, these meetings can take place one-on-one, online, or over the phone. No matter where you are, you can easily find help.
This group welcomes two sets of people. First, it welcomes people who are affected by persons who are trying to recover from addiction. Secondly, they are also welcoming to persons who are living or staying with addicts but are not yet seeking help. The second category aims at receiving advice on how to cope with an alcoholic’s behavior.
Role and Purpose of Al-Anon
This self-supporting group relies on contributions from its members to carry out its objectives. The main objective of the group is to provide a platform for the friends and family of alcoholics, both addicts and recovering alcoholics to share and advise each other. They can offer solutions to the possible problems they are facing. Considered as a family disease, it is also possible to heal as a family.
A meeting will have between five and twenty-five members. The idea is to make the group sizable so that members can participate actively. If a group becomes too large, it is split into smaller groups to boost efficiency. The groups are also non-confrontational, making them welcoming and accommodating for right about everyone. The members acknowledge that alcohol recovery is a choice and not something you can force someone into.
Expectations of an Al-Anon Meeting
The mode and method of conducting meetings vary from one group to another, but they have similar objectives and guidelines. They operate under a similar guideline. To get started, the meeting will have someone open it and this is followed by basic introductions. If the group has a new member, they will also be welcomed at this time before the session starts. The new members will receive helpful tips and an opening of how the group operates.
The meeting will then start with open discussions where members will encourage each other giving hope. At the end of the meeting, they will close it officially and hug each other for those who are open to it. As a guide for new members, you will expect the following.
- The group provides mutual support with equal treatment to all members. Any member can offer advice according to their experience. While the advice may differ, individuals do not condemn another’s opinion.
- You can ask questions in the group to help a personal experience. On the other hand, you can also just listen and not make contributions. It is entirely up to you to consider what you will do in the group as long as you remain relative to the objective.
- Each session is unique making it relevant to the current problems of the members. The structure of the meeting is easy to identify and it is not limited to any rules and regulations.
- Some meetings may occur in religious facilities. However, this does not mean that the group is affiliated to any religious organizations.
- All members respect each other. They are also keen to uphold privacy and anonymity. Members do not share the names of other members in their groups to other people.
- There is a 12-step reading as you start your group meeting. These steps help individuals to cope with heavy drinkers and their behaviors.
Al-Anon is right for the following persons
The objective of Al-Anon is to help people to cope with their friends and family members who have a drinking problem. However, this does not mean that it is for everyone. The following is a guide that will help you identify if this support group is what you need.
- If a person’s drinking behavior is worrying you
- If you constantly lie about your loved ones’ drinking
- If you decline social invitations to prevent your loved one from drinking too much
- If your loved one’s drinking problems seem to embarrass you.
- If you are confused about what to expect and how to cope with your friend’s drinking problem
- If you feel that you must change plans to accommodate your loved one’s drinking problem.
If you feel like the above conditions and situations are familiar, then you may benefit from the self-help program. You can, however, attend a meeting to see if the group works for you. If it does not aid your problems, then you can always leave.
Al-Anon support group aims to help individuals who have friends and loved ones abusing alcohol cope with the situation. The person may be with someone who is undergoing treatment or maybe not seeking any help. The program will aim to help the person remain focused and cope with stressful situations. It is not an easy task to cope with an alcoholic or with a person undergoing treatment for alcoholism.
An alcoholic comes with disturbing behaviors that can be disturbing for family members. Even alcoholics undergoing treatment may have withdrawal symptoms that are difficult to deal with. Many people are not willing to abandon their loved ones simply because they have a drinking problem. However, you can find refuge and relevant advice on how to cope with the situation to help foster long-term benefits for both parties.