If someone you love has a drinking problem, there is help available that will provide you with facts about a simple program of recovery. Through its help, over two million people who once drank too much are now living comfortable and productive lives without alcohol.
For decades, Alcoholics Anonymous has been working successfully for men and women from every kind of background. Before these people came to A.A., most of them had tried to control their drinking on their own and, only after repeated unsuccessful efforts at such control, finally admitted that they were powerless over alcohol.
At first, they could not imagine life without it; they certainly did not want to admit that they were alcoholics. But, with the help of other A.A. members, they learned that they did not have to drink. They discovered that life without alcohol not only was possible, but could be happy and deeply rewarding.
Often those closest to an alcoholic find it hardest to see and admit that someone they care about can be an alcoholic. Such a thing just can’t be true, it seems. In their eagerness to deny the depth of the problem, they may for a time believe the alcoholic’s promises. But the repeated breaking of these promises and the increasing difficulties finally force those living with the alcoholic to acknowledge the truth.
Then a desperate search for a solution begins. Feeling that all their love and well-intended attempts to help have been wasted, they become deeply discouraged. If you have felt like this, take hope from the experience of AA members’ spouses, relatives, lovers, and friends who once felt the same way, but have seen the problem drinkers they care about freed from the compulsion to drink.
It is possible to find answers to many questions that people asked both before and after the alcoholic in their lives joined A.A. If the problem drinkers laugh at the idea that they are in trouble with alcohol, or if they resent any such suggestions, Al-Anon Family Groups may help explain what you can and cannot do. If the alcoholic has already joined A.A., the information that follows will help you to understand the A.A. way of life.
Perhaps the best brief description of what AA is and what it does is this short “AA Preamble,” usually read at the beginning of every A.A. meeting:
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
Reprinted with permission AA World Services Inc.
Remember you are not alone with this problem. Part of Al-Anon Family Groups purpose is to help families and friends of alcoholics recover from the effects of living with someone whose drinking is a problem.