Alanon And Alateen

AA's success has led to two additional groups being formed. One of these, Al-Anon, offers support to family members of an alcoholic. The goal is to offer assistance and advice to

Alcoholics Anonymous is an organization dedicated to helping alcoholics stay sober through a Twelve Step program. The approach, outlined in AA's "Big Book," calls for complete abstinence from alcohol and a revised lifestyle. AA members, like the man in this picture, attend meetings and receive support from other recovering alcoholics in an anonymous setting.

family members and to help them understand how best to respond to the presence of an alcoholic in their family and how to focus on changing themselves rather than focusing on the drinker as the cause of all family problems. Alateen is another outgrowth of AA and Al-Anon. It specifically focuses on the concerns of teens dealing with an alcoholic family member or friend. Both Alateen and Al-Anon offer the benefit of a safe, confidential place to meet and share problems, to understand that you are not alone, and to learn more about the illness of alcoholism.

Al-Anon and Alateen members also have sponsors, attend meetings, and follow the Twelve Steps (understanding that they are powerless about someone else's drinking rather than their


• Approximately 14 million Americans (more than seven percent of the population) meet the criteria for alcoholism or alcohol abuse.

• More than one-half of American adults have a close family member who is an alcoholic or has suffered from alcoholism.

• Approximately one out of every four children and teens under the age of 18 in the United States is exposed to alcohol abuse or dependence in his or her family.

• Of the more than 11 million victims of violent crime each year, almost one in four report that the offender had been drinking alcohol prior to committing the crime.

• The estimated cost of alcohol abuse was $184.6 billion for 1998 alone, or roughly $638 for every man, woman and child living in the United States that year.

[Source: 10th Special Report to the U.S. Congress on Alcohol and Health]

own). Currently more than 26,000 Al-Anon and Alateen groups are meeting in 115 countries.

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