Today, Millions of Americans’ Lives are Impacted by the Disease of Alcoholism in a Loved One

Share Article

During April Alcohol Awareness Month, Al-Anon highlights the more than 115 million Americans who are affected, knowingly or unknowingly, by a loved one's alcohol-related problems. They experience the disease of alcoholism in a friend or family member, and as a consequence, fight to maintain their own well-being - and that of their whole family.

Strength and hope for friends and families of problem drinkers

Al-Anon Family Groups

I wish he was here next to me, sober and sleeping. I never took the beauty of that peace for granted.

During April Alcohol Awareness Month, Al-Anon Family Groups highlight the lesser known sufferers of the disease of alcoholism– the drinker’s family members and friends. Al-Anon Family Groups is a resource for anyone who deals with the effects of someone else’s problem drinking.

Results of a 2014 Gallup Poll revealed that 36% of Americans report alcohol is a cause of family-related problems. “That’s more than one out of every three people in the United States, alone; dealing with the effects of a loved one’s drinking problems, every day,” said Pamela Walters, Al-Anon Family Groups Marketing Information Analyst.

“I’m only at peace when he’s in jail or in a hospital; he can’t be on his own,” said Julie, an anonymous visitor who commented on a “First Steps to Al-Anon Recovery” podcast. Julie said, “I wish he was here next to me, sober and sleeping. I never took the beauty of that peace for granted.”

Walters said, “Julie’s comments convey the trauma she’s endured in worrying so intensely about her husband’s drinking. The seriousness in experiencing a loved one’s alcohol addiction can take a toll that interferes in all aspects of life, from job performance and financial security, to family happiness and personal well-being.”

Walters said, “For Julie, and anyone wishing for someone else’s sobriety, it may give comfort to know that hope is abundantly available in Al-Anon Family Groups.” Al-Anon is a support program for friends and family members who deal with alcoholism in a friend or family member. “Most people can sympathize with wishing for a cure to a loved one’s illness, such as cancer or Alzheimer’s. Alcoholism is classified as a disease by the American Medical Association (AMA), and Al-Anon is here to provide support for anyone struggling with the crippling disease of alcoholism in someone close,” said Walters.

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 and read a copy of Al-Anon’s annual public outreach magazine “Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2015.” Find a local meeting by calling toll-free: 1-888-4AL-ANON.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Pamela Walters
Visit website