Alcohol addiction doesn’t just impact the addict. Alcohol addiction impacts their family and friends as well. Through addiction, family and friends experience the trauma of a loved one hurting themselves or others and feeling powerless to stop it. 

Al-Anon meetings are a place for family and friends of addicts to come together and share their experiences and develop a support system of people that have similar experiences. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, the Robert Alexander Center can help.

Why Is Addiction a Family Disease?

By calling addiction a “family disease,” professionals mean that it impacts more than just the individual. Addiction impacts the surrounding support structure, by hurting those who care about the addict. To be part of a “family” you don’t necessarily need to be blood related. In this sense, the term “family” relates to the addict’s closest emotional connections, whether that be parents, siblings, spouse, children, or friends. 

An addict may or may not be aware of the harm they are causing their loved ones. Parents of addicts struggle with feelings of guilt, shame, and fear for their child. The children of addicts are often forced to grow up too quickly, feeling excessive responsibility, fear for their parents and living situation, and helplessness. 

These overwhelming feelings can be as damaging as the drugs are to the addict. 

What Are Al-Anon Meetings for Families of Drug Addicts?

Al-Anon meetings are meetings for family members and loved ones of people addicted to alcohol. Through these meetings, people are able to come together and discuss the impact loving someone with a substance use disorder has had on them. These spiritual (not religious) meetings are not for the addict, but for the loved ones to share their experiences and their coping-strategies in order to build a support system of people familiar with the struggle of caring about an addict.

Like AA meetings, which are for individuals struggling with addiction, Al-Anon meetings have a 12-step program that supports the loved ones through acceptance, surrender, and advocacy. The Al-Anon 12-step program focuses on the individual, their relationship with alcohol, and critical evaluations of the self. By surrendering to a higher cause, Al-Anon members can begin to heal from the impact that alcohol has had on their lives.

Al-Anon meetings are group discussions, where people who choose to, can share their experiences. These meetings are run on the basis of anonymity and do not require membership or signing in. Additionally, information shared at meetings is confidential and shared to support others but does not leave the room. 

Additionally, Al-Anon offers meetings for teens called Alateen. This is a monitored group meeting that provides an opportunity for the children of addicts to meet and share their story. Alateen allows teens an opportunity to build a support system of other children like them and have their burning questions answered. 

Get Help With Addiction at Robert Alexander Center

If you or your loved one are struggling with alcohol addiction, the Robert Alexander Center is the premier Kentucky detox and rehabilitation center. 24-hours a day, our expert compassionate staff are available to support your needs. 

By developing individualized programs, we can support you from intake through aftercare with evidence-based treatments, alternative therapies, and family therapy options. As we work together to identify the root causes of addiction, we support our clients through a holistic healing process.

We focus on changing the stigma around addiction through individual, group, and family therapies.  Following a person-centered approach, our clients have the opportunity to self-reflect in a relaxing spa-like environment. 

The Robert Alexander Center is ready to assist you through every step of the addiction treatment and rehabilitation process.

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