Alcoholism is a disease that affects everyone close to the problem drinker, but the only person who can stop the alcoholic from drinking is the alcoholic himself or herself. This can leave loved ones with feelings of hopelessness and despair. Al-Anon Family Groups exist to support the loved ones of problem drinkers.
What is Al-Anon & Alateen Family Groups?
Al-Anon is a mutual support group open to anyone affected by someone else’s drinking. It is not group therapy and is not considered professional treatment, but it is a place for those close to an alcoholic to anonymously share strength, hope, and experience with each other in the effort to find happiness whether the alcoholic is drinking or not.
Alateen meetings are especially for young Al-Anon members, usually teenagers, who can find support and understanding from peers going through similar situations.
What Do Al-Anon Family Groups Do?
Al-Anon knows that often it is those closest to the alcoholic who suffer the most, focusing on the problem drinker’s actions, trying to control their drinking, and ultimately taking on the blame, shame, and guilty feelings that actually belong to the drinker.
Those who attend Al-Anon or Alateen meetings are usually relieved to find that they are not alone. Attendees can ask questions and share experiences on how they handle issues with the alcoholic in their life, knowing that others there can relate and none of the information shared will leave the room. They often learn about alcoholism or alcohol abuse as an illness, its impact on the nondrinker, and the importance of family treatment.
Talking is not required and financial contribution is voluntary. Al-Anon does not take attendance and has no membership list.
Where Can I Go For a Meeting?
Al-Anon/Alateen meetings are held throughout the islands. Meeting schedules can be downloaded from the local website.