What You Can Do During April Alcohol Awareness Month When Someone Close to You Drinks Too Much.

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Therapist discusses challenges faced by families of problem drinkers, in current issue of Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism magazine.

Strength and hope for friends and families of problem drinkers

Al-Anon Family Groups

Al-Anon Family Groups are for families and friends who have been affected by a loved one’s drinking.

Alcoholism is devastating to all members of the family, according to Joe Herzanek, an addiction counselor based in Boulder, Colorado. It is an especially appropriate realization during April Alcohol Awareness Month.

“Family members may have watched someone they love turn into a stranger,” Herzanek writes in "Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2015," the annual public outreach magazine of Al-Anon Family Groups. “They ask, ‘How did this happen? Why didn’t we see it sooner? Are we somehow to blame? How do we make it stop?'”

Questions such as these leave family members confused, upset, and sometimes angry. They are often at a loss as to what they can do about someone else’s drinking.

Herzanek advises clients who are struggling with the stress caused by someone else’s drinking to visit Al-Anon Family Groups, where “family members learn that they are not alone, and that help is available.”

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 al-anon.org 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.

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Pamela Walters
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