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Al-Anon/Alateen Helps Military Families

Recent published reports show that heavy drinking has increased in the military. What data is not shown are the effects of this drinking on others.

For 55 years family members and friends of alcoholics have found help and hope in Al-Anon meetings. There are meetings held on or near military bases in the US, Canada, and around the world.

Al-Anon provides a safe, confidential, and free place for military families to share with and learn from other family members and friends of problem drinkers.

The latest Al-Anon/Alateen Membership Survey (completed in November 2003) shows that 25 percent of Al-Anon members and 29 percent of teen members surveyed have a relationship with a problem drinker on active duty in the military.

An additional six percent have a relationship with a reservist, and 10 percent of adult and 29 percent of teens are dealing with a problem drinker retired from the military.

The common bond among Al-Anon/Alateen members (and indeed the only requirement for membership) is that there is a problem with alcohol in a relative or friend. The relationship with an alcoholic may be current or past, and members come together for mutual aid and support.

There are no dues or fees for the confidential meetings. There are no professional counselors; members take turns facilitating the meetings where they share their own experience, strength, and hope with each other, to learn how to better cope with the effects of alcoholism on their lives.

Al-Anon (which includes Alateen for younger members) was founded in 1951 by the wives of two early AA members, and has evolved from 87 scattered groups to the over 26,000 Al-Anon Family Groups in 115 countries.

Additional information is available on the Al-Anon, Alateen Headquarters Web site, www.al-anon.alateen.org .

For local meeting information, please look in the white pages of your phone book under “Al-Anon.” Local Al-Anon offices are also listed on the Web site.

Related Reading:

Adult Children of Alcoholics Syndrome: A Step By Step Guide To Discovery And Recovery
Alateen: Hope for Children of Alcoholics
The Woman
Breaking Free of the Co-Dependency Trap