Families and Professionals Speak Out about Drinking Problems in Al-Anon Family Groups' Annual Magazine, "Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2013"

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Al-Anon’s annual outreach magazine, "Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2013," is available during September National Recovery Month. The complimentary publication includes personal stories from anonymous family members, as well as articles by professionals in the field of alcoholism treatment and recovery.

During September National Recovery Month in the U.S., "Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2013" goes on display in professional waiting rooms throughout the U.S. and Canada. It is also available on-line at www.al-anon.alateen.org in English, Spanish, and French.

Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2013

Darian describes in "Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2013" what it is like waiting for her mother in the morning. She doesn’t know if she will hear the soft, caring words of a loving mother, or the biting diatribe of a cruel alcoholic.

Darian, a young lady from New Jersey, describes in Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2013 what it is like waiting for her mother to come into her room in the morning. She doesn’t know if she will hear the soft, caring words of a loving mother, or the biting diatribe of a cruel alcoholic. She prepares herself to say, “Hi, Mom,” but she knows she might have to call 911 sometime during the day. Al-Anon Family Groups are helping Darian to find her voice and see her mother as someone who is struggling with a disease—the family disease of alcoholism.

Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2013 is the complimentary annual outreach magazine from Al-Anon Family Groups. During September National Recovery Month in the U.S., the publication goes on display in professional waiting rooms throughout the U.S. and Canada. It is also available on Al-Anon Family Groups' Web site in English, Spanish, and French. The publication includes personal stories from anonymous family members, as well as articles by professionals in the field of alcoholism treatment and recovery.

A featured interview in the 2013 edition with Alexa Smith, chemical dependency counselor from Ontario, Canada, focuses on “Dealing with the elephant in the living room—alcoholism.” Smith refers to the sense of responsibility and shame people feel over a relative or friend’s alcoholism. She identifies such feelings as reasons why it is difficult for people to seek help. Smith says, “Al-Anon offers a supportive environment where people can reach out to peers through meetings, telephone, or the Internet.”

Dr. David C. McMillian, LPC, LMFT, from Shreveport, Louisiana writes, “Al-Anon is compatible with professional counseling.” McMillian’s article dispels concerns from other professionals that Al-Anon replaces counseling. Through the years, he’s found many benefits for his clients—including a sense of belonging, by identifying with others who have experienced the same types of problems.

Beverly Buncher, MA, CEC, LTPC, is a family recovery coach in Pompano Beach, Florida. Buncher writes Al-Anon works hand in hand with professional counseling because it facilitates the re-emergence of inner health on the outer level. She concludes, “More than anything else, those related to alcoholics need support in rebuilding a healthy relationship with themselves, because that’s where family recovery begins.”

In Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2013, Al-Anon members chronicle what life was like before they came to their first Al-Anon meeting, and what their life is like today. Steven, from Washington state, wrote: “My wife’s drinking was tearing our family apart. My life was in shambles. I had to fix it, but I didn’t know how.” When he walked into his first Al Anon meeting, Steven said, “I was hurting, lonely, and scared.” Now, Steven says, “Al-Anon has put me on my own path of recovery. I have found that my life has gotten better each and every day.”

Al-Anon Family Groups are for families and friends who have been affected by a loved one’s drinking. Nearly 16,000 local groups meet throughout the U.S. and Canada every week. Al-Anon Family Groups meet in more than 130 countries, and Al-Anon literature is available in more than 30 languages. Al-Anon Family Groups have been offering strength and support to families and friends of problem drinkers since 1951. Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. acts as the clearinghouse worldwide for inquiries from those who need help or want information about Al-Anon Family Groups and Alateen.

For more information about Al-Anon Family Groups, go to http://www.al-anon.alateen.org, or find a local meeting by calling toll-free during business hours Eastern Time: 1-888-4AL-ANON.

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Pamela Walters
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