Public Outreach

Has Someone Else’s drinking created chaos in your life?

Many of us arrived at the doors of Al-Anon without hope and lives filled with chaos. For the millions of people affected by the excessive drinking of someone close to them, every day can be fraught with bitterness, sadness and fear as they guard themselves against the effects of drinking.
Please take the Al-Anon Outreach Survey. We are collecting responses from Members and New Comers and those in Al-Anon service on how you heard about Al-Anon and what outreach methods are being used within your group, district to let your community know that Al-Anon exists.
Your answers will help Northern CA understand which outreach methods are working, and which methods need improvement.
The survey is 8 questions long, and takes about 4-6 minutes to complete.
For more information about Al-Anon outreach, contact NCWSA PICPC Coordinator at PICPC1951 @ gmail DOT com
In Al-Anon and Alateen, we discovered new ways to look at some of the same situations and hope was restored. Al-Anon is a worldwide fellowship of more than 600,000 relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength and hope in order to solve their common problems. Al-Anon members suggest you ask yourself the following questions:
  • Do you worry about how much someone else drinks?
  • Are routines frequently upset, vacation plans canceled, or meals delayed because of the drinker?
  • Have you refused social invitations out of fear or anxiety?
  • Does it seem as if every holiday or vacation is spoiled because of someone’s drinking?
  • Do you have money problems because of someone else’s drinking?
  • Have you been hurt or embarrassed by a drinker’s behavior?
  • Do you tell lies to cover up for someone else’s drinking?
  • Are you afraid or embarrassed to bring your friends home?
  • Do you feel that if the drinker loved you, he or she would stop drinking to please you?
  • Do you think that if the drinker stopped drinking, your other problems would be solved?
Al-Anon is a safe, confidential place where it is understood how people can love and hate the alcoholic at the same time. Al-Anon helps to make sense out of the confusion that families are consumed with when living with or caring for a problem drinker. Through its Twelve Steps, adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon members learn to focus on themselves and turn negative situations into positive energy that is physically, mentally and spiritually nurturing. “One of the wonderful benefits of working the Al-Anon program is learning how to relax. Until now, most of my life sped by in a frenzy of activity. School, work, projects, obligations, all helped me focus outward. That way I didn’t have to rest long enough to feel how frightful my home life was,” writes an Al-Anon member. A member from New York also writes: “Little by little, I made a life of my own. I started by going on mini-vacations, visiting friends for a weekend. Before Al-Anon I was afraid to do anything. I was scared of my own shadow. The program has given me confidence, self-worth, a renewed faith in a Higher Power and much gratitude.” Al-Anon is not a religious program. It is fully self-supporting. There are 27,000 groups worldwide, including more than 2,800 Alateen groups for teenage members. If you are concerned about someone else’s drinking, make it your resolution to contact Al-Anon or Alateen.

Health – Is Someone’s Alcoholism Suffocating You?

(NewsUSA) – Do you feel like you are always holding your breath? Every time the door opens in your home, do you fear who it might be? Do you wonder whether your spouse, parent or friend will be mean, violent, subdued or withdrawn – someone totally different from who he or she is when not drinking? If someone’s alcoholism is suffocating you, you must realize that to help that person you first must help yourself. And help is out there. For nearly 50 years, Al-Anon has been a constant resource for families and friends of alcoholics. Beginning with 87 groups, it has grown into a worldwide fellowship of 30,000 groups in 112 countries. Families and friends of alcoholics usually require medical and mental health care for various symptoms, according to the 1999 Al-Anon/Alateen Membership Survey. The survey represents Al-Anon’s sixth study of a 3 percent sample of Al-Anon groups and a 10 percent sample of Alateen groups in the United States and Canada, with a 23 percent combined response rate. In the survey, 88 percent of Al-Anon members said the alcoholic’s drinking affects their mental health and well being, 80 percent said the alcoholic’s drinking affects their ability to function daily at work or home, and 67 percent said the alcoholic’s drinking affects their overall health status. Al-Anon members also rated the benefits of their recovery program on a three-point scale:
  • Improved mental health/well being – 2.9
  • Increased ability to function daily at home and work 2.9
  • Better overall health status – 2.8
Survey results show that more than half of all Al-Anon members and 40 percent of the Alateens (young Al-Anon members, usually teenagers, whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking) received professional help before attending Al-Anon or Alateen. After becoming involved in Al-Anon, 50 percent seek medical treatment or counseling. Al-Anon, based on the Twelve Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, provides non-professional mutual support to families and friends of alcoholics. For more information, visit Al-Anon/Alateen on the Web at www.al-anon.alateen.org. For meeting, information, call 1-888-4AL-ANON (425-2666) or write to: Al-Anon Family Groups, Inc., 1600 Corporate Landing Parkway, Virginia Beach, VA 23454-5617.

Celebrating 50 Years of Hope

For Immediate Release Contact: info@ncwsa.org February 2001 Celebrating 50 Years of Hope The year 2001 marks Al-Anon Family Groups’ 50th Anniversary of offering hope and help to families and friends of alcoholics. At Al-Anon and Alateen (for young family members) meetings, families and friends of alcoholics come together to help each other recover from the effects of someone else’s drinking. The organization has its roots in the early days of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). When AA began in 1935, family members also attended AA meetings. In many areas in those early years, “family groups” began forming and sought guidance from the Alcoholics Anonymous office in New York. Bill W., co- founder of AA, suggested to his wife, Lois, that she write to these family groups. In May 1951, Lois and her friend Anne B. wrote to the group and individual names obtained from the AA office, and a new fellowship was born. Via correspondence, the name “Al-Anon Family Groups” was selected, and the Twelve Steps of AA adopted, changing only one word. All of these family members have the common bond of living or having lived with a problem drinker. Al-Anon and Alateen members learn about alcoholism and focus on their own recoveries, not on the alcoholic. Al-Anon’s co- founder Lois’ awakening to her own need for recovery happened unexpectedly. It was 1935, Bill was sober, and their house and time were filled with helping alcoholics, and going to lots and lots of meetings. In Lois’ words, “Even after Bill’s spiritual awakening, it didn’t occur to me that I needed to change. The idea must have been working in my subconscious, however, for a trivial incident woke me up with a start, and I realized my own need to spiritual growth. “One Sunday, Bill casually said to me, ‘We’ll have to hurry or we’ll be late for the Oxford Group meeting.’ “I had a shoe in my hand, and before I knew what was happening, I had thrown it at him and said, ‘Damn your old meetings!’ “This unexpected display of anger surprised me even more than it did him. I might have had an excuse for losing my temper during his drinking years. But why now, when everything was fine, had I reacted so violently to his very natural remark? … That day I began to look at myself analytically for the first time.” From Lois Remembers, @ 1979, Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. From its humble beginning in Lois and Bill’s home in Bedford Hills, NY, with manually typed letters to 87 scattered groups, was born a fellowship that would reach out across the US and Canada and the world, helping those affected by someone else’s drinking to learn about the disease of alcoholism and better ways to cope with its effects. Today there are approximately 27,000 groups in 115 countries. In Northern California, there are 750 Al-Anon and Alateen meetings both in English and in Spanish and one in Punjabi. Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., in Virginia Beach, Virginia, publishes literature, maintains records of groups in the US and Canada; provides support to Al-Anon structures outside the US and Canada; provides a toll free meeting information line (1-888-4ALANON); maintains a web site; and communicates with groups, members, and national organizations. In Northern California, the area Al-Anon assembly maintains a listing of local Al-Anon Information Services who maintain literature distribution centers. For information about the Al-Anon literature, including where the distribution centers are, go to the area web site at http://www.ncwsa.org/literature/. Throughout the year, Al-Anon members and groups around the world are helping to celebrate the organization’s golden anniversary with varied events. For meeting times and locations in Northern California, visit the web site http://www.ncwsa.org/meetings/, visit the national web site www.al-anon.alateen.org or call toll-free 1- 888-4AL-ANON (1-888-425-2666).

Al-Anon helps members reach beyond their fears.

Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. press release. August 2002 Families and friends of alcoholics can find hope and help in Al-Anon/Alateen. Those who live with alcoholism often live in fear: fear of abuse, fear of anger, fear of trusting others. Al-Anon Family Groups (including Alateen for younger members) is a source of understanding, help, and hope to families and friends of alcoholics. The following story, originally published in the August 2002 issue of Al-Anon’s monthly magazine, The Forum, illustrates some of the fears experienced. My pattern of isolation began in childhood when my mother’s abusive behavior became a source of sadness and embarrassment. I coped by being a good little girl and keeping my feelings to myself. Years later, while I suffered from my son’s alcoholism, I withdrew again. When the pain became intolerable, I decided to try Al-Anon. It was scary walking into a room that was full of strangers, so I put on my everything’s okay mask. Then the members began to share their stories. Everyone’s words carried such depth and honesty that I began to feel hopeful. I thought maybe I could let my guard down, too. Maybe somebody would finally understand. Continuing to attend meetings, I confronted longtime habits of self-pity that kept me stuck in misery. It was pretty difficult to feel alone and sorry for myself when I sat with people whose experiences were the same or even worse than mine. When I was little. I often blamed myself for Mommy’s anger. Later I felt somehow guilty about my son’s alcoholism. Al-Anon told me I did not cause the disease and that I could not control or cure it, either. The only thing I could change, I learned, was my own response. As I gradually let go of guilt, I felt a new sense of lightness and freedom. Sometimes I still find myself sliding back into isolation, but now I have a choice. I can stay in a dark, lonely place, if that’s what I choose. Or I can keep coming back to this program, into the healing light of intimacy with my fellow travelers on this Journey we call life. –Kathy S. (Al-Anon members maintain personal anonymity in print) Al-Anon members, like Kathy, may have several relationships to alcoholics: children, parents, spouses, partners, family members, and friends of problem drinkers. All are welcome in the over 26,000 Al-Anon (including Alateen for younger members) meetings held in 115 countries. Local meeting information can be obtained by clicking on meeting information on this web site http://www.ncwsa.org, or the national (US and Canada) toll free meeting line, 1-888-4-AL-ANON (1-888-425-2666, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm ET). Additional information is available on the Al-Anon/Alateen Web site, www.al-anon.alateen.org.

For Professionals

Dear professional, Have you wondered how Al-Anon and Alateen works to help its members? Have you wondered how these programs might interact with advice you may give to your clients? If so, the Al-Anon Family Groups produces several pamphlets and books listed on Al-Anon’s World Service Headquarters page For Professionals, that can help you understand how Al-Anon and Alateen members have used the Al-Anon and Alateen programs to receive help in recovering from the effects of alcoholism in their families and friends. Al-Anon does not ally itself with any specific religion, treatment program, or other method used to help families and friends of alcoholics. Al-Anon has no opinion on any issue outside of its primary purpose “to help families and friends of alcoholics.” It has no opinion concerning the efficacy of any other method used to help family members recover from their obsession with someone else’s drinking. Al-Anon does not interfere with the help professionals may offer. Surveys of Al-Anon members report that many members use professional treatment along with their application of Al-Anon and Alateen principles. You can also obtain our literature in other ways. Visit this page: How to obtain Al-Anon and Alateen literature to find out how.

Has Someone Else’s drinking created chaos in your life?

Many of us arrived at the doors of Al-Anon without hope and lives filled with chaos. For the millions of people affected by the excessive drinking of someone close to them, every day can be fraught with bitterness, sadness and fear as they guard themselves against the effects of drinking. In Al-Anon and Alateen, we discovered new ways to look at some of the same situations and hope was restored. Al-Anon is a worldwide fellowship of more than 600,000 relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength and hope in order to solve their common problems. Al-Anon members suggest you ask yourself the following questions:
  • Do you worry about how much someone else drinks?
  • Are routines frequently upset, vacation plans canceled, or meals delayed because of the drinker?
  • Have you refused social invitations out of fear or anxiety?
  • Does it seem as if every holiday or vacation is spoiled because of someone’s drinking?
  • Do you have money problems because of someone else’s drinking?
  • Have you been hurt or embarrassed by a drinker’s behavior?
  • Do you tell lies to cover up for someone else’s drinking?
  • Are you afraid or embarrassed to bring your friends home?
  • Do you feel that if the drinker loved you, he or she would stop drinking to please you?
  • Do you think that if the drinker stopped drinking, your other problems would be solved?
Al-Anon is a safe, confidential place where it is understood how people can love and hate the alcoholic at the same time. Al-Anon helps to make sense out of the confusion that families are consumed with when living with or caring for a problem drinker. Through its Twelve Steps, adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon members learn to focus on themselves and turn negative situations into positive energy that is physically, mentally and spiritually nurturing. “One of the wonderful benefits of working the Al-Anon program is learning how to relax. Until now, most of my life sped by in a frenzy of activity. School, work, projects, obligations, all helped me focus outward. That way I didn’t have to rest long enough to feel how frightful my home life was,” writes an Al-Anon member. A member from New York also writes: “Little by little, I made a life of my own. I started by going on mini-vacations, visiting friends for a weekend. Before Al-Anon I was afraid to do anything. I was scared of my own shadow. The program has given me confidence, self-worth, a renewed faith in a Higher Power and much gratitude.” Al-Anon is not a religious program. It is fully self-supporting. There are 27,000 groups worldwide, including more than 2,800 Alateen groups for teenage members. If you are concerned about someone else’s drinking, make it your resolution to contact Al-Anon or Alateen.

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