Al-Anon Can Help Families Struggling With Drinking Problems During Spring Break

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When spring break presents difficult situations for families who are affected by a loved one’s drinking, Al-Anon can help.

Strength and hope for friends and families of problem drinkers

Al-Anon Family Groups

The impact on families and friends can be significant, whether the drinker is the son, daughter, classmate, or a sibling.

Spring break can present difficult situations for families who are affected by a loved one’s drinking. “The problem drinker could be college age with a drinking history already, or a teen who is experimenting with alcohol for the first time,” according to Pamela Walters, Information Analyst for Al-Anon Family Groups. “The impact on families and friends can be significant,” Walters said, “whether the drinker is the son, daughter, classmate, or a sibling.”

Worry, embarrassment, and anger are common reactions when behavior problems are due to a young person’s drinking. “Regardless of who does what and how the rest of the family feels about it,” Walters said, “the consequences of underage drinking can affect the whole family.” Walters said, “Whether they are relatives or friends, when anyone is concerned about someone else’s drinking, local Al-Anon Family Groups can help.”

Anonymity is an important principle of the Al-Anon program. An anonymous Al-Anon member, Janet C, said, “When I was growing up, my sisters were the drinkers in my family. I had one sister who was very affected.” In hindsight, Janet wished that she had come to Al-Anon sooner. “I would have had tools, and I would have had options. There are things I could have done to try not to take on the responsibility of the decisions that my sister made. When it was springtime, she was out of control. None of us knew what to do with her or how to handle her.”

Al-Anon Family Groups are for families and friends who have been affected by the problem drinking of someone close to them. Nearly 16,000 local groups meet every week throughout the U.S., Canada, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico. 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 alcoholics 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, or read a copy of "Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2014." Find a local meeting by calling toll-free: 1-888-4AL-ANON.

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Pamela Walters
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