Al-Anon Helps Families and Friends of Alcoholics, Research Shows

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Research confirms that Al-Anon meetings can be helpful for families and friends of alcoholics, according to Dr. Robert Huebner of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in a recent podcast interview.

Strength and hope for friends and families of problem drinkers

Al-Anon Family Groups

[Al-Anon members] like the format and accessibility of Al-Anon meetings, and of course its commitment to anonymity.

In a new podcast interview from Al-Anon Family Groups, Dr. Robert Huebner explains two main courses that relatives and friends of alcoholics can take with their loved ones. “Obviously, one is approaching the issue,” he said. “The other is avoiding the problem. Examples of the former would be to talk about it with friends and family—of course, attending Al-Anon meetings.”

Dr. Huebner, Director of the Division of Treatment and Recovery Research at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, said, “Our researchers have addressed why people seek out Al-Anon in the first place.” He explained the studies reveal, “They like the format and accessibility of Al-Anon meetings, and of course its commitment to anonymity. They also believe that it’s effective, and perhaps most important, Al-Anon provides social support and peer advice that is very attractive to potential participants. This parallels the research on the benefits of mutual help or social support groups for people with family members who have other diseases, such as cancer or multiple sclerosis.”

Listen to all of Dr. Huebner’s comments about the treatment options available for alcohol use disorders, as they pertain to the drinker and to the drinker’s family members and friends, at, under “First Steps to Al-Anon Recovery.”

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 2016.” Find a local meeting by calling toll-free: 1-888-4AL-ANON.

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Pamela Walters
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