Concerned about someone's drinking?
In 1954 the American Medical Association declared alcoholism "a chronic disease over which the drinker has no control". There are more than 20 million alcoholics in the United States and Canada alone. Alcoholism, a chronic, progressive disease, is often as devastating for those closest to the alcoholic as it is for the drinker.
Family and friends tend to think they can change the alcoholic, only to find themselves frustrated by their inability to affect any change at all. It is only when they learn that they are powerless over alcohol and its effects that any real progress can be made.
In Al-Anon, a support group modelled after Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), friends and relatives of alcoholics learn to detach themselves from the drinker and concentrate on their own healing. At the meetings, they learn they have a choice; instead of trying to "fix" the alcoholic, they can take the focus off the drinker and begin to lead happier and a more manageable life themselves. The underlying belief of the Al-Anon program is that alcoholism is a family disease and that changed attitudes can aid recovery. Many of our members, regardless of age, come to regard the Al-Anon programme as a ‘life skills’ programme that helps them in all aspects of their daily lives.
Many children are profoundly affected by their parents' alcoholism. They experience much the same feelings that adults do, including a sense of loss, confusion and guilt. Alateen was formed by Al-Anon in 1957 to help young people recover from the effects of someone else's drinking.
Al-Anon has a vast range of self-help literature, in the form of books, e-books and pamphlets. The South African Head Office, situated in Cape Town, provides our area offices with this literature. To order literature please contact an office in your area.
Where can I find help?
Contact one of our Area Offices to find more information, please click on the "MEETINGS" button for Area Offices locations.