Al-Anon Helps When a Loved One Loses the Battle with Alcoholism

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According to the most recent CDC data, 30,000 Americans lose their lives a year due to alcohol-induced causes. During January National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, family and friends who are dealing with the loss of a loved one to the disease of alcoholism can find support and help from Al-Anon Family Groups.

Al-Anon Family Groups - Strength and hope for friends and families of alcoholics

Al-Anon Family Groups

Our young daughter's alcoholism was the reason I began attending Al-Anon initially. In those rooms, I found a source of comfort, strength, and support that I desperately needed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 30,000 Americans lost their lives in 2014, due to alcohol-induced causes. "During National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, from January 25-31, 2016, these statistics shed light on the realities faced, not just by the drinker, but by their friends and families," said Pamela Walters, Information Analyst at the Al-Anon World Service Office. “In the grips of dealing with a loved one’s death due to alcoholism, the friends and family members are left to pick up the pieces of their own lives after what can be a heartbreaking struggle with the disease,” said Walters.

“My alcoholic husband of 28 years never found sobriety and died in 2014 as a direct result of the effects of the disease,” said an anonymous Al-Anon member in a recent Al-Anon Membership survey. “He developed alcoholic dementia, as well as other chronic health problems, and could not take care of himself. My Al-Anon ‘family’ has walked with me through hell, holding my hand, showing me that I could thrive in recovery despite the circumstances in my home.”

Another member of Al-Anon said, “Unfortunately, several months after joining Al-Anon, our daughter died unexpectedly at the age of 28 of alcoholic hepatitis. I’ve had a very difficult time dealing with this loss. Our young daughter's alcoholism was the reason I began attending Al-Anon initially. In those rooms, I found a source of comfort, strength, and support that I desperately needed. Our situation at home (she lived with us) seemed a bit less stressful due to the understanding of her disease that I discovered in Al-Anon.”

“The first benefit I recall is knowing that I wasn't crazy,” said another Al-Anon member. “My husband kept telling me he didn't have a problem with drinking (he eventually died from drinking). Also being able to talk about it in a safe environment and not being told I was wrong for the way I felt. Also, the friendships I have gained are priceless!”

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, visit al-anon.org 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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