12-Step Programs Al-Anon
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12-Step Programs Al-Anon
Al-Anon started in 1951 as a support system for friends and family members of alcoholics. It offers the 12-steps of recovery to family and friends of those struggling with alcohol. Similar to the program Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon is a self-supported organization through member donations. The meetings involved are free and available to family members or friends of alcoholics.
The reason these meetings are so important is that all addicts truly need a support system to get through their addiction. The whole point is to allow members to know that they are not alone. Plus, it helps to know the 12-steps of recovery that your friends or family members will be using as they work towards getting sober.
What to Expect from an Al-Anon Meeting
Al-Anon meetings are available for anyone who has an alcoholic in their life. Whether it is your child, friend, or significant other, Al-Anon is a safe place to come to meetings and talk. Although some people put off visiting a meeting, it can be great and extremely inspiring.
Here are a few things to know about Al-Anon meetings before you go:
- Al-Anon is fully anonymous
- Everyone at the meeting has been personally affected by someone’s alcoholism
- You are not required to speak
- There are many different types of meetings for different types of people
- Al-Anon meetings do not center around one specific religion
- Meetings are related to the Al-Anon 12 steps of recovery
- Meetings related to the mantra: “take what you like and leave the rest”
Al-Anon Meetings for Teens
There is also an Al-Anon group specifically made for younger people whose family is impacted by alcoholism. These meetings allow young people or teens to discuss with people their age. Discussion can allow them to understand they are not alone and help them resent their family member a bit less.
The Alcoholism Gene
Since Al-Anon treats the disease of alcoholism as a family illness, that means they also believe in the alcoholism gene. Specifically, Al-Anon believes that alcoholism is a family illness because it destroys the lives of those around them. To make it through recovery, the alcoholic must have a strong friend or family support system.
Some family members often blame themselves for their loved one’s drinking, so Al-Anon allows them to understand the root of alcoholism.
The 12-Steps of Al-Anon
Almost all Al-Anon meetings begin with a reading of the 12-Steps of recovery. These steps are almost the same as the 12-steps from Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as AA. Similar to AA, Al-Anon members get a sponsor to help them go through these steps. The 12-steps are as follows:
1. “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.”
This step encourages you to learn to accept alcoholism as a disease. You cannot control your loved one.
2. “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
Sometimes you might believe that you can control the ones you love and force them to stop drinking. This step makes you admit you are powerless.
3. “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”
Although the program is not explicitly religious, this aspect does bring in a “God.” The program pushes you to let go to accept what you cannot change.
4. “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”
One of the main parts of the Al-Anon 12-steps program is self-discovery. When you begin, you create a list of how you have done wrong to yourself, as well as other people. Wrongs can include threats to the alcoholic in your life or other counter-productive actions.
5. “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”
This step has you look into your morals. Look into what you have done wrong, and truly analyze it.
6. “Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”
This step is related to religion, but it is important as it releases blame, and allows the “Higher Power,” to free you.
7. “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”
Although the 12-steps are not supposed to be specifically religious, this step does seem to include that once again. This step recommends you understand how you control or judge an alcoholic in your life and how that does not help the situation.
8. “Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.”
Sometimes it is important to begin the healing process by doing so with yourself first. Many people blame themselves for someone else’s addiction. You must forgive yourself and move on.
9. “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”
After forgiving yourself, you can then begin to take action to fix your mistakes.
10. “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”
The 12-Step process takes a long time. Although you may have fully committed to it, at times, you may make mistakes. This step recognizes that and helps you understand it is an ongoing process.
11. “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”
This is another spiritual step. It encourages acceptance and comfort even though the process of recovery can be extremely difficult.
12. “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
The last step is the hope that you have realized your journey is never over. It would help if you took what you learned and continued to support other members, such as being a sponsor.
Is Al-Anon a Religious Program?
Although Al-Anon is not a religious program, members do need to have an acceptance of a higher power. The term “higher power” is open to interpretation, but if you are uncomfortable with this term, then Al-Anon may not be for you. Despite this, Al-Anon accepts and respects members of all religions and beliefs. No one is forced to change their beliefs to participate.
Benefits of Al-Alon
This organization allows you to meet people with who you can relate. Whether you are looking to meet others who have a parent that suffers from alcoholism or you have a teenager going through it, you can find someone who can relate.
Everyone is different, but everyone also has relatable situations. The main benefits of Al-Anon are that it allows you to relate to people who are going through the same situation.
Al-Anon and Treatment
If someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction, then you need to get them help. At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we offer a variety of treatment options, as well as free insurance verification for treatment. Unfortunately, alcoholism does not stop simply with treatment.
For an alcoholic to recover, they need a strong support system. Contact us today to find out more about Al-Anon programs and how they can benefit the recovery of the one you love.