What Is Al-Anon And How Can It Help Me?
Al-Anon Family Group is a recovery program for friends and families of substance abusers. The only requirement for membership is that you’ve been affected by someone’s addiction. The group is based on the belief that substance abuse is a family disease, and that recovery is possible by practicing the 12 Steps. The 12 Steps of Al-Anon were adopted almost word for word from the 12 Steps of AA.
How Did Al-Anon Start And Why?
The Al-Anon program was co-founded in 1951 by Anne B. and Lois W. Lois was the wife of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) founder Bill W. Those in Al-Anon believe that recovery from the family disease of addiction can only be realized by practicing a spiritual program of recovery.
What Are The Meetings Like?
Members share how they have been affected by someone’s drinking and how they are able to find serenity and fulfillment whether the alcoholic is active or not. Members share feelings, encourage others to share, offer support, and explain how Al-Anon has helped them. Meeting topics and literature focus on common problems faced by those involved with substance abusers. The purpose of the meetings is not to learn how to keep others from drinking and drugging. The purpose is for friends and families of alcoholics to find serenity whether the substance abuser is in recovery or not. Members are encouraged to focus on themselves rather than on the alcoholic.
What Can I Learn At Meetings?
At Al-Anon, members learn that they do not cause others to drink or to behave in certain ways. They come to understand that they can’t change or control anyone but themselves. They learn that they can detach emotionally from the drinker but still continue to love him or her. They discover that they can have fulfilling and satisfying lives by using the Twelve Steps as an aid to recovery.
What Goes On At Al-Anon Meetings?
Many meetings begin with the Serenity Prayer, although formats vary from group to group. Some meetings focus on the 12 Steps, others involve discussion topics, and still others are literature studies. Some meetings follow a speaker format where one person shares their experience with the program and the 12 Steps. You are not required to speak or share at any meeting. You can attend meetings and just listen. In most meetings, you will be given an opportunity to share about yourself and your situation, but only if you want to.
Why Must I Go To Meetings When I Am Not A Substance Abuser?
The program was established to support those who are suffering because of someone’s drinking. It’s a safe place to connect with others, enjoy fellowship, and get support. Many members find that their lives and family situations get better when they are participating in the program and working the 12 Steps.
Is Al-Anon Endorsed By Addiction Professionals?
Although the Al-Anon program is endorsed by addiction professionals, it is run solely by its membership. Professionals often suggest Al-Anon for those affected by addiction, but group members do not provide professional services or make referrals. Members speak only about their own experiences with alcoholism and drug addiction.
Can Newcomers Attend Al-Anon Meetings?
Newcomers are welcome at all meetings and are not required to share personal information. It’s suggested that newcomers attend at least six different meetings before deciding whether the program is right for them. Newcomers are also encouraged to attend different meetings, because each group has it’s own personality.