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Al-Anon And Alateen Help Families Move Forward

Learn more about support groups for families whose sons suffer from alcohol addiction.

What Is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is widely recognized as a compulsive drinking disease that cannot be cured but apprehended. It is a progressive illness, which will only worsen if the individual continues to engage in drinking. The only way to seize the disease is by engaging in complete abstinence from it. The entire family and everyone in contact with the sufferer is affected by alcoholism. Unfortunately, the only person who can stop the alcoholic from drinking is themself. 

How Do Alcoholics Affect Friends And Family?

The individuals who are closest to the alcoholic suffer the most, and because the loved ones care about the sufferer, it’s easy to get involved in the addict’s behavior. Unknowingly, friends and family members will react to the alcoholic’s behavior. They focus on the following factors:

  • What the alcoholics do
  • Where the alcoholics are
  • How much the alcoholics drink
  • Controlling their drinking for them
  • Taking on the guilt, blame, and shame that belong to the alcoholic

What Is Al-Anon And Alateen?

Al-Anon is a mutual support program for individuals whose lives have been affected by a loved one’s drinking. Through sharing common experiences, and applying Al-Anon principles, friends and families of alcoholics can initiate positive changes to the sufferer’s circumstances, whether or not the individual acknowledges the existence of the drinking issue or pursues assistance. Al-anon Pennsylvania meetings are an essential part of an addict’s recovery. 

Alateen is a part of the Al-Anon Family Groups, which is a fellowship of young individuals (mostly consisting of teenagers) whose lives have been affected by another person’s drinking whether they are a part of their life drinking or not. By teenagers attending Alateen, they have the privilege of meeting other teenagers with similar circumstances. There are no dues or fees that belong to Alateen, and it is not a religious program. 

For over 55 years, Al-Anon (which includes Alateen for younger members) has offered strength and hope for friends and families of problem drinkers. It is estimated that each alcoholic affects the lives of at least four other people. Alcoholism truly is a family disease. No matter what relationship you have with an alcoholic, whether they are still drinking or not, all who have been affected by someone else’s drinking can find solutions that lead to serenity in the Al-Anon/Alateen fellowship. 

At the beginning of Alateen, part of Al-anon was A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous). As families gathered and shared, they discovered A.A. Twelves Steps’ benefits in their life. It improved the difficult relationships even after the addict chose the route of sobriety. The families and relatives eventually began meetings on their own. 

Alcoholism has similar effects on us all, even though our relationships with the alcoholic may be different. Many newcomers are most interested in hearing about situations and relationships that are similar to their own. Over time, however, we come to understand that we can benefit from hearing how the Al-Anon principles worked in many different circumstances.

How Does Al-Anon Work?

There isn’t a magic formula to enable an alcoholic to stop drinking. Alcoholism is a complex disease with several associated issues. Al-Anon can assist an individual with learning how to cope with the addict’s challenges. Oftentimes, loved ones can help matters by altering their behaviors that can make matters worse. By engaging more healthily to respond to challenges can be a better alternative. 

The local Al-Anon meetings offer the opportunity to struggle individuals to learn from the experiences of others who have faced similar challenges. Even though similar problems have similar solutions, the solution to complex complications is more strenuous to justify. Al-Anon simplifies a complex complication by suggesting a “One Day at a Time” approach. 

At every meeting, there will be testimonies from people on how Al-Anon worked for them. By beginning a program in such an uplifting atmosphere of testimonials, the individual struggling might have a more effective onboarding experience. As the process continues, the Al-Anon members begin to understand drinking as a family issue that affects every member of the family. 

By listening to Al-Anon members speak at the meetings, the understanding of the addict’s role in the family illness is made more evident. As insight is formed, a stronger foundation is laid for the alcoholic to be positioned to desire to engage in a positive role in their family’s future. There is research indicating that when problem drinkers enter a recovery program, the likelihood of success is improved when support is given by family members who are in an Al-Anon program. 

What Are The 3 C’s of Al-Anon?

Al-Anon succeeds in being a 12-Step program that provides a healing space for individuals who have experienced their trauma due to a loved one’s addiction. The 12 steps separate the healing process so it’s less intimidating, and the program has been more successful. A pronounced attribute of Al-Anon is assisting loved ones in accepting the realization that they are not responsible for the addiction, but the 3 C’s are.

When the family members and friends begin to feel guilty about the alcoholic facing addiction, the 3 C’s assist in eliminating this fear by explaining in-depth about addiction and how it isn’t anyone’s fault. Due to the family member feeling their loved ones struggling is their fault, they are responsible for it occurring, and there is something they could have done differently, Al-Anon helps alleviate these feelings by enforcing the twelve steps and the 3 C’s.

Al-Anon’s 3 C’s are reminders in family recovery that help family members realize they are not the cause of the addiction that their loved one is struggling with. Al-Anon teaches that the 3 C’s can be applied to everyday life. 

I Didn’t Cause It

The first C of Al-Anon discusses step one in the program. Step one states, “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable.” This first C showcases that family members and friends didn’t cause their loved one’s addiction simply because they don’t have the power to do so. It’s extremely essential to eliminate misplaced grief and responsibility. 

I Can’t Control It

The second C describes this step through the use of step two in Al-Anon which states, “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” This step is essential because it’s important to be aware that there is nothing that can be done to control the addiction, and leave it in the hands of a higher power that can provide reassurance and hope. 

I Can’t Cure It

The third C is explained through step three which states, “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” After the family member or friend accepts that there is nothing they can do to control the addiction, they can turn it to a higher power. This step is difficult to achieve but once it is accepted, the relative becomes more understanding and in a better position to assist the loved one. 

How Will Al-Anon Help Me?

Many who come to Al-Anon/Alateen feel desperate, hopeless, and unable to believe that things can ever change. We want our lives to be different, but nothing we have done has brought about change. We all come to Al-Anon because we want and need help.

In Al-Anon and Alateen, members share their own experiences, strengths, and hopes with one another. You will meet others who share your feelings and frustrations, if not your exact situation. We come together to learn a better way of life; to find happiness whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not.

How Do I Find A Meeting?

Al-Anon meetings in PA or your area can be found here. Alateen meetings in your area can be found here. You may also find meetings through local community centers or places of worship, and you can find meetings in the Northeastern Pennsylvania area below. For meeting information in Canada, the US, and Puerto Rico you can call 1-888-4AL-ANON (1-888-425-2666) Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET.

Who Are The Members Of Al-Anon And Alateen?

Al-Anon and Alateen members are people just like you and me – people who have been affected by someone else’s drinking. They are parents, children, spouses, partners, brothers, sisters, other family members, friends, employers, employees, and coworkers of alcoholics. No matter what our specific experience, we share a common bond: we feel our lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking.

Do I Have To Say Anything At A Meeting?

It is your choice whether or not to speak at meetings. Newcomers are welcomed to meetings and usually are provided with literature and a local meeting list, and then invited to listen and learn. Sometimes beginners’ meetings, specifically for newcomers, are offered. Members are available to answer questions before or after the meetings.

Will Anyone Say I’ve Been There?

One of the Al-Anon program’s basic principles is that of anonymity. Meetings are confidential, and we do not disclose whom we see or what we hear at meetings to anyone.

How Much Is This Going To Cost?

There are no dues or fees in Al-Anon and Alateen meetings. Most groups pass a basket for voluntary contributions. Members are asked to contribute what they can afford so that the group can pay rent, provide literature, and offer support to local and worldwide service centers.

Is This A Religious Fellowship?

Al-Anon Family Groups is a spiritual fellowship, not a religious one. We avoid discussion of specific religious doctrine, and members of all faiths (or of none) are welcome. Our 12-Steps ask us to find a “Power greater than ourselves” to help us solve problems and find serenity. Each member is free to define that power in his or her way.

How to Contact Al-Anon/Alateen

Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.

1600 Corporate Landing Parkway

Virginia Beach, VA 23454-5617

Local Al-Anon and Alateen meetings

Friday Groups

Friday Night Live Al-Anon

First Presbyterian Church

300 School St.

Clarks Summit, PA 18411

Time: 7:30 – 8:30 pm

Group Type: Regular Al-Anon Meeting

Scranton TGIF

Saint Ann’s Monastery Shrine Office

1239 Saint Ann St.

Scranton, PA 18504

Time: 8 – 9 pm.

Group Type: Regular Al-Anon Meeting

Additional Info: Non-smoking; closed discussion.

Friday Easy Does it AFG

First Presbyterian Church

308 Broad St. (corner of Ann Street)

Milford, PA 18337

Time: 12 to 1 pm.

Group Type: Regular Al-Anon Meeting

Additional Info: Non-smoking. Use side entrance.

Saturday Groups

Saturday Survival Al-Anon

St. Matthews U E Lutheran Church

425 Jefferson Ave.

Scranton, PA 18510

Time: 10 – 11 am.

Group Type: Regular Al-Anon Meeting & separate Alateen Meeting.

Additional Info: Non-smoking. Regular and beginners’ meetings. Alateen is meeting at the same time.

Hawley Al-Anon

Hawley United Methodist Church

315 Church St.

Hawley, PA 18428

Time: 8 – 9 pm

Group Type: Regular Al-Anon Meeting

Sunday Groups

Sunday Steps

Christ Episcopal Church

700 Delaware St.

Forest City, PA 18421

Time: 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Group Type: Regular Al-Anon Meeting

Additional Info: Park across Delaware at St. Agnes. Enter through the lower side entrance (2nd red door).

Sunday Night

Providence U.M. Church

1924 North Main St.

Scranton, PA 18509

Time: 8 – 9 pm

Group Type: Regular Al-Anon Meeting

Additional Info: Last Sunday of a Month is an Anniversary or Open Speakers Mtg.

Learn More About Little Creek Lodge

Little Creek Lodge is an alcohol and drug addiction treatment center in Northeastern Pennsylvania. We are a licensed facility, offering multiple options for each individual’s unique needs. Please call 877-689-2644, or fill out our contact form to learn more.

References:

https://al-anon.org/newcomers/what-is-al-anon-and-alateen/

https://www.northstartransitions.com/post/what-are-the-three-cs-of-al-anon

 

 


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