Advantages of Al-Anon Twelve-Step Meetings
Family members of those struggling with alcoholism are advised to attend Al-Anon meetings while their loved one is getting sober. Is this a good idea and does it help?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about 23 million Americans have a substance abuse disorder aged 12 and older. Of this number, about 1.9 million people developed an addiction to prescription pain medicines and 586,000 had an addiction to heroin. Approximately 23 percent of those people who use heroin develop an addiction to opioids (the class of pain medications that includes morphine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, codeine, and oxycodone).
Alcohol Abuse Affects Everyone, Not Just You
Addiction impacts the family and many other people we don’t realize. Family, friends, coworkers, and even neighbors can experience the effects of drug abuse through the user. It also trickles through the family dynamic.
One of the most important things to remember in drug or alcohol treatment is the strength of the support system around the person in need of help. If you’re a family member of someone going through treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, you can have an enormous impact on their recovery by showing them that you are available and supportive.
More About How Al-Anon Helps Families of Alcoholics
One way you can help your loved one is by going through treatment yourself; a supportive treatment group. One of the popular support groups, Al-Anon, can help rebuild this family dynamic. Al-Anon is a Twelve-Step mutual support program designed to help families and friends of addicts recover from the effects of living with an addicted relative or friend. Al-Anon’s program of recovery is adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous and uses Al-Anon’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. The only requirement for membership is that there is a problem of addiction in a relative or friend. Al-Anon is not affiliated with any other organization or outside entity.
Its goal is to help family members understand that they cannot control the addicted person or their addiction. It focuses on helping family members practice self-care and realize the importance of their well-being.
What to Do If You Have a Loved One With Alcoholism
Family members of those struggling with alcohol use disorder are often advised to attend Al-Anon meetings while their loved one is seeking addiction treatment. You may be wondering if this kind of in-depth participation is necessary, or how Al-Anon can help you and your family. There are many benefits of Al-Anon support groups. Some advantages may be:
Understand What Your Loved One is Facing – Al-Anon support groups are put together almost exactly like the support groups your loved one will be attending in treatment. You will follow a 12-Step program in which you will be asked to acknowledge a power greater than yourself and recognize alcohol use disorder as a family disease that affects everyone involved. You may find that by working the twelve steps you will better understand your role in your loved one’s treatment, and how you can best support their sobriety. By doing similar treatment to your loved one’s treatment, you will be able to relate to them and their healing process, facilitating healing for the whole family.
End the Cycle of Codependency – Even though you want the best for your loved one, enabling someone to continue abusing alcohol will only keep them from recovery and building a productive life. By attending Al-Anon meetings and discussing your circumstances, it can help you to identify behavior that may be detrimental to your loved one’s recovery, and to work on personal emotional obstacles.
Al-Anon support groups can enable you to see yourself from a different perspective and understand that everyone in your family is better off if the individual struggling with an addiction can establish true independence and no longer needs saving.
Find a Support System – One of the best benefits of attending Al-Anon meetings is finding compassion and support from others who are experiencing similar struggles or have made it past obstacles you are currently facing. Al-Anon meetings can provide you with a safe space to vent your frustrations and discuss your pain and may allow you to begin working through conflicts you face within your family that you are not yet emotionally ready to face directly.
Alcoholism Help for Chronic Drinkers
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, Evoke Waltham can help. Evoke Waltham Center is an addiction treatment program located in the heart of Waltham, Massachusetts. Our carefully developed program of quality clinical care includes Day Treatment and Intensive Outpatient (IOP) levels of care. Our medical, clinical and therapeutic team of experienced and compassionate professionals is available around-the-clock to treat all symptoms associated with addiction as well as the underlying causes. Our program of recovery is ideal for individuals who are ready for world-class addiction treatment who have been suffering from a substance use disorder.