Family Members Look for Ways to Cope with Problems Caused by Someone Who Drinks Too Much

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Families of problem drinkers can change the way they react to alcoholic behavior, therapist writes in current issue of "Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism" magazine.

Strength and hope for friends and families of problem drinkers

Al-Anon Family Groups

For some family members, being in recovery has initiated changes that dramatically changed the role they were playing in perpetuating the disease of alcoholism for their loved one.

When a member of the family has a drinking problem, there comes a moment when family members realize that it’s time to change the way they respond to the alcoholic’s behavior. When that moment comes, they are often surprised to find that this change is much more difficult than anticipated, according to Ed Hughes, a therapist based in Portsmouth, Ohio.

“For some family members, being in recovery has initiated changes that dramatically changed the role they were playing in perpetuating the disease of alcoholism for their loved one,” Hughes writes in "Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2015," the annual public outreach magazine of Al-Anon Family Groups.

“As a treatment professional, I realize that each person in recovery carries the … potential to help many others,” he writes. “The power of recovering Al-Anon members who share their stories with a newcomer far exceeds any power that I have ever witnessed in a professional treatment setting.”

Hughes recommends that clients who are struggling with the stress caused by someone else’s drinking, visit Al-Anon Family Groups, where they can find “acceptance, love, and guidance.”

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