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What is Al-Anon?

Alcoholism is a disease that affects both the sufferer and their loved ones. For those affected by a loved one’s drinking, Al-Anon is a recovery fellowship dedicated to helping families and friends of those with alcoholism. Coping with a loved one’s drinking can be difficult, but Al-Anon brings together the family and friends of a person suffering from alcoholism to share their experience, strength, and hope.

Al-Anon is described as a “worldwide fellowship that offers a program of recovery for the families and friends of alcoholics, whether or not the alcoholic recognizes the existence of a drinking problem or seeks help.” One of the best ways to cope with and support a loved one suffering from alcoholism is by learning as much as possible about the disease. Al-Anon, in their informational pamphlet Freedom from Despair, explains, “It is difficult for a nonalcoholic to realize that a person does not deliberately and willfully become alcoholic, rather the drinking has become an uncontrollable, compulsive urge. The alcoholic needs encouragement and understanding whether drinking or sober. By detaching ourselves from the alcoholic’s problems and concentrating on restoring ourselves to serenity, we encourage the alcoholic to seek and keep sobriety.” There are many questions an individual may have about alcoholism and how to best support a loved one, and Al-Anon allows families and friends to share their experience, strength, and hope about their lives with an individual suffering from alcoholism.

Al-Anon uses the 12 Steps of recovery to help members understand alcoholism and cope with having a loved one suffering from the disease. It’s important to note that the goal of Al-Anon is not to stop someone with alcoholism from drinking. In their informational pamphlet, Al-Anon, You, and the Alcoholic, they explain, “While it is not possible to stop another person from drinking, Al-Anon can help you gain a new perspective of your situation, which can reduce your anxiety, confusion, and frustration,” and, “Challenging, blaming, or pleading is likely to create hostility. An understanding attitude may do much to help someone want to seek help for their problem drinking.” Gaining a new perspective on alcoholism by interacting with others who are also affected by a loved one’s drinking can help them understand the disease and be more effective in supporting recovery, and less likely to fall victim to the negative effects of having a relationship with someone suffering from alcoholism.

Your loved one’s life does not have to be held back by the chains of addiction. No matter how far down the scale it may seem they have gone, recovery is possible. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, is staffed with knowledgeable and compassionate professionals dedicated to addressing alcoholism and addiction from every mental, physical, and spiritual angle. If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction or alcoholism, please call today: (833) 242-6431