Holiday Stress Drives Friends and Families of Problem Drinkers to Al-Anon

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Al-Anon welcomes newcomers who are seeking support from the turmoil of a friend or family member’s drinking during the holidays.

Strength and hope for friends and families of problem drinkers

Al-Anon Family Groups

Al-Anon meetings are always open to anyone who is concerned about someone else’s drinking, but we welcome the most newcomers in January and February.

The chaos and conflict caused by problem drinkers during the winter holiday season can be an emotionally devastating experience that sends families and friends in search of solutions in the new year.

Al-Anon Family Groups usually experience their largest influx of newcomers during January and February each year.

“The challenge of living with someone who can’t drink responsibly often rises to crisis-level over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. This crisis can be the breaking point that leads many family members and friends to consider how they could improve their situation,” Al Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.’s Marketing Information Analyst, Pamela Walters said.

“Al-Anon meetings are always open to anyone who is concerned about someone else’s alcoholism, but we welcome the most newcomers in January and February. The post-holiday season is a time when people make New Year’s resolutions to deal with problems that they may have minimized for a long time,” Mrs. Walters said.

This conclusion is based on anecdotal evidence provided by long-time Al-Anon members across the country. No hard data is available because, due to its tradition of anonymity, Al-Anon does not take attendance at Al-Anon meetings and has no formal membership rolls.

Al-Anon Family Groups are for anyone who is bothered by someone else’s drinking. Anonymity and confidentiality at all Al-Anon meetings enable relatives and friends of alcoholics to speak freely about the circumstances that have affected their relationships. There are no fees or dues.

Al-Anon Family Groups have been offering strength and support to families and friends of problem drinkers since 1951. Nearly 16,000 local groups meet throughout the U.S., Canada, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico every week. Al-Anon Family Groups meet in more than 130 countries, and Al-Anon literature is available in more than 40 languages. 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, its program for teenage members.

For more information about Al-Anon Family Groups, go to, or read a copy of Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2013. You can also find a local meeting by calling toll-free: 1-888-4AL-ANON, Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET.

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