How you can help.
In Al-Anon, a self-help recovery program for families and close friends of alcoholics, that statement is proven time and time again. Those closest to an alcoholic are deeply affected by the disease of alcoholism - emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Although the root of their problem is not always easy to pinpoint, people involved with alcoholics almost always have "something" about them that doesn't seem quite right. That something might be a sense of sadness, an inability to concentrate, or an obsession with their problems that leaves little time for anything else. A major goal of Al-Anon is to reach as many of the families and close friends of alcoholics as possible. One of the ways we can do that is to work with members of the professional community, like yourself. Our aim is to encourage you to ask every troubled individual who comes to you for help this simple but vital question: "Does someone in your family drink in a way that bothers YOU?"
Al-Anon participants are varied. We are wives, husbands, children, parents, siblings, friends, and even co-workers of alcoholics. Our experiences are different, but our recovery program is the same. In Al-Anon, we recover from the devastating effects of alcoholism by taking the focus off the problem drinker and placing it on ourselves. Joining the Al-Anon fellowship is something most of us find difficult to do; and once we join, our thoughts are still consumed by the behavior of the alcoholic. Gradually, with the support of other members, we begin to think about ourselves and our own needs. That doesn't mean we stop loving the alcoholic; it means we no longer allow ourselves to be manipulated or hurt by someone else's actions. Often, as we grow stronger and healthier, the alcoholics in our families also become willing to seek help.
This online information was written for you, the professional. It is our hope that when you read it, you will be touched by the stories of members and enlightened by the testimony of your colleagues. Won't you join hands and help us reach out to families who are wandering down the lonely road of alcoholism?
These materials are adapted and reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA