A Parent in Al-Anon Wants to Rescue Her Alcoholic Son

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The willingness for family and friends to help loved ones is usually a good thing, except when the problem is alcoholism. The July issue of Al-Anon's "The Forum" magazine features the story of a mother's struggle with her son's alcoholism.

Strength and hope for friends and families of problem drinkers

Al-Anon Family Groups

Unlike other illnesses, when a friend or relative with a drinking problem receives assistance with daily duties and responsibilities, it usually makes it easier for the loved one to continue drinking.

When families assist their relatives who are ailing, the assistance usually helps the loved ones to get well. A significant exception to this rule of thumb, according to Al-Anon Information Analyst Pamela Walters, is when the illness in question is alcoholism. “Unlike other illnesses,” Walters said, “when a friend or relative with a drinking problem receives assistance with daily duties and responsibilities, it usually makes it easier for the loved one to continue drinking.”

Dynell is an anonymous Al-Anon member whose son enrolled himself in a rehabilitation treatment program for his addiction. Dynell’s original version of the situation made it sound like it was a mutual decision between mother and son. “To hear me recount the events that led up to this decision and the weeks that followed, it was as if he and I had accomplished this together,” Dynell said.

”My son made the decision to seek help for his addiction. He sought out a rehabilitation facility and admitted himself for treatment. The decision had been his alone. He took the steps he had to take to begin and complete the program,” Dynell said. “Looking back on this now, it all seems quite ridiculous. I just remember thinking to myself that someone, finally, would be able to see just how much I loved my son.”

Dynell said, “Today, I know that I don’t need to do anything for my son, unless he absolutely cannot do it for himself. I cannot let my need to help end up hurting and doing more harm. The greatest help I can give to my son today is to let him be the man that he should be, the man that he needs to be, and that he has always wanted to be.”    

Today, Dynell shares her story at local meetings and in the July issue of “The Forum" magazine from Al-Anon Family Groups. By sharing her experience, it supports parents who might otherwise feel they have to do anything and everything to rescue their alcoholic children.

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., 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 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, its program for teenage members.

For more information about Al-Anon Family Groups, go to http://www.al-anon.alateen.org and read a copy of “Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2015.” Find a local meeting by calling toll-free: 1-888-4AL-ANON.

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Pamela Walters
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