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  • What is Al-Anon?
    Al‑Anon is a mutual support program for people whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking. By sharing our common experiences and applying the Al-Anon principles, we can bring positive changes to our individual situations. We come together to learn about a better way of life, whether or not we are living with an active alcoholic, and whether or not the alcoholic acknowledges their problem. Al-Anon’s program of recovery is based on the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions as adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Many of us come to Al-Anon lonely and in despair, feeling hopeless and unable to believe that things can ever change. Nothing we have done so far has made any difference. We come to Al-Anon because we want and need help.
  • Who are the members of Al-Anon?
    Al-Anon members are people who have been affected by someone else’s drinking. We are parents, children, spouses, partners, brothers, sisters, other family members, friends, employers, employees, and coworkers of alcoholics. No matter what our specific experience has been we share a common bond: we feel our lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking. We come together to share our experience, strength and hope in order to solve our common problems.
  • How will Al-Anon help me?
    Many of us come to Al-Anon in despair, feeling lonely, hopeless and unable to believe that things can ever change. Nothing we have done so far has made any difference. We come to Al-Anon because we want and need help. At Al-Anon we meet people who understand us as few others can. Here we can talk about our feelings and frustrations but also share our experience, strength and hope with each other to learn ways to respond to our challenges. Al-Anon’s program of recovery is based on the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions as adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA.) We learn how to apply the principles of the program to our own lives and gradually we see that our lives improve. We discover that we can find happiness whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not.
  • Is this a religious fellowship?
    Al-Anon Family Groups is a spiritual fellowship, not a religious one. We refrain from discussion about specific religions. Members of all faiths or of none are welcome. Our Twelve Steps suggest that we find a “Power greater than ourselves” who can help us solve our problems and find serenity. We are free to define that power in anyway we wish.
  • Is there a program for teenagers who are affected by alcoholism? Can I bring a teenager to an Al-Anon meeting?
    Growing up in a home where one or both parents are alcoholics can have life-altering effects on children, with long-lasting emotional and psychological scars. Alateen is for teenagers affected by alcoholism in a family member or friend. There are many legal requirements that ensure that Alateen meetings are safe for these young people. In Israel, unfortunately, there are so far no Alateen meetings. However, teens are welcome to join Al-Anon meetings. For more information about Alateen, click HERE.
  • What if I’m not ready to go to a meeting?
    Trying something new can be scary. If you feel some anxiety about attending an Al-Anon meeting, you’re not alone. Many people have felt that way. But overcoming that reluctance is an opportunity for personal growth, the first of many that the Al-Anon program offers. It’s the first step on the road to recovery. You don’t need to worry about whether or not you want to become a “member.” There is no registration and no commitment required. You can visit a variety of different meetings to gather information and to hear how the people there handle their issues with alcoholics. It may be that some of their experiences will be helpful to you. Maybe you think you will be required to reveal personal information to a large group of strangers. This is not the case. You are welcome to sit and listen and do not need to share anything unless you want to. You may be exhausted from all the attempts you have made to solve the problems of the effects of alcoholism and possibly skeptical that anything can help. If you keep an open mind, you may find help in Al-Anon.
  • Do I have to say anything at a meeting?
    You may be nervous about the prospect of speaking in public about the very personal problems you are experiencing. You may be relieved to hear that there is no pressure to do this and you can sit quietly at a meeting and just listen. Of course, if you do want to share, you are very welcome to do so! Some meetings have additional meetings for beginners when they can learn about the basic concepts and ask questions. Members are also available to answer questions before and after 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. This is how we feel safe to share what is on our minds and in our hearts and help each other in Al-Anon.
  • Do I need to make an appointment?
    You don’t need to give advanced notification and no formal written referral is necessary to attend an Al-Anon meeting. Groups usually have a contact person you can call for information about meetings, including the address or Zoom link for meetingsor to find out more about Al-Anon in general.
  • Do I need to register?
    Meetings are on a walk-in basis. Al‑Anon has no membership list, and does not take attendance. You are welcome to attend as frequently or infrequently as you choose. There is never any obligation. You can choose to share your full name or not.
  • How much is this going to cost?
    There are no dues or fees in Al-Anon. Most groups pass a basket for voluntary contributions. Online meetings provide a link to a virtual basket. Members are asked to contribute what they can afford, so that the group can pay rent and other expenses. There is no obligation to contribute and some meetings expressly invite newcomers to consider themselves as guests.
  • Can I bring the alcoholic with me to the meetings?
    Al-Anon is not a program for finding or maintaining sobriety. It is a program to help the families of alcoholics recover from the effects of someone else’s drinking. However, some alcoholics in recovery benefit from Al-Anon as well.
  • What is alcoholism?
    Alcoholism is widely recognized as a disease of compulsive drinking, which can be arrested, but not cured. It is a progressive illness, which will get only worse as long as the person continues to drink. Total abstinence from drinking is the only way to arrest the disease. Everyone who has contact with an alcoholic is affected, including the entire family, friends, employers and colleagues. Unfortunately, the only person who can stop the alcoholic from drinking is the alcoholic themselves.
  • Who are alcoholics?
    They could be anyone, from all backgrounds and walks of life. Over 95 percent of alcoholics have families, friends, and jobs. They may function fairly well, but some part of their life is suffering. Their drinking causes a continuing and growing problem in their lives, and the lives they touch.
  • How do alcoholics affect families and friends?
    Alcoholism is a family disease. The disease affects all those who have a relationship with an alcoholic. Those of us closest to the alcoholic suffer the most, and those who care the most can easily get caught up in the behavior of another person. We react to the alcoholic’s behavior. We focus on them, what they do, where they are, how much they drink. We try to control their drinking for them. We take on the blame, guilt, and shame that really belong to the drinker. We can become as addicted to the alcoholic, as the alcoholic is to alcohol. We, too, can become ill.
  • How can I help my loved one quit drinking?
    There is no magic formula that enables you to help someone stop drinking. Alcoholism is a complex problem, with many related issues. The Al-Anon program may help you find healthier ways to respond to the challenges you experience because of someone else’s drinking. There are no easy answers, but Al‑Anon meetings offer the opportunity to learn from the experiences of others who have faced similar problems. By listening to Al‑Anon members share, you can hear how they came to understand their own role in this family illness and how Al-Anon works for them. Some research shows that when a problem drinker does choose to enter a recovery program, their chances for success are improved when they are supported by family members who themselves are in a recovery program such as Al‑Anon.
  • Are You Living With an Alcoholic Spouse or Partner?
    Are you involved with someone whose drinking is bothering you? How do you cope with an intimate relationship that is affected by alcoholism? Living with a spouse, partner or significant other who exhibits a drinking problem can have devastating effects on our emotional well-being, our personal relationships, our professional life and sometimes even our physical health. Al-Anon may give you the support and tools you need to deal with the effects of alcoholism on very important relationships.
  • Are You Concerned About an Alcoholic Child?
    Trying to cope with a son’s or daughter’s alcohol abuse is one of the most difficult challenges in life. Their problems become ours, as objectivity goes out the window. It becomes a never-ending cycle of crisis and rescue. We pay for doctors’ bills, treatment center stays, attorneys’ fees, rent, food and cars, often at the expense of our own financial security. It is difficult to say no because of the underlying fear that, somehow, we’ve caused the problem. Many people come to Al‑Anon for the support and understanding they need to handle this heart-breaking situation.
  • Are You a Teenager Living With an Alcoholic?
    One in four children under age 18 in the United States is affected by a parent’s abuse of alcohol. Growing up in a home where one or both parents are alcoholics can have life-altering effects on children, with long-lasting emotional and psychological scars. Alateen is for teenagers affected by alcoholism in a family member or friend. There are many legal requirements that ensure that Alateen meetings are safe for these young people. In Israel, unfortunately, there are so far no Alateen meetings. However, teens are welcome to join Al-Anon meetings here. Click HERE for Alateen meetings online.
  • Are You Affected by an Alcoholic Brother or Sister?
    Has your brother or sister ever called you late at night, drunk, asking you for money or a place to stay? It can be painful to witness the downward spiral of a sibling suffering from alcoholism. As a family disease, alcoholism takes its toll on every family member in a different way. So, if someone close to you drinks too much, why not explore the help offered by Al-Anon Family Groups?
  • Are You Worried about a Grandchild who is Affected by a Parent’s Alcoholism?
    When alcoholism is part of the family dynamic, grandparents are often the ones stepping in to care for the children. The parents may be in treatment, in jail, or simply incapable of tending to the daily needs of raising a family due to their alcohol addiction. As a grandparent, you may feel instinctively that you should help. Sometimes providing shelter, money, clothing and food becomes a necessity, not a choice. But is it possible to break the cycle of pain, anger and sadness that permeates alcoholic situations involving grandchildren? Al-Anon might help.
  • Are You Worried About an Alcoholic Friend?
    Sometimes, the person with the drinking problem is someone we love and care for deeply. You may be watching helplessly as that person’s life slowly unravels due to their poor choices. They may have lost their job, have trouble with their marriage or be in trouble with the law but heavy drinkers tend to minimize it all. In Al-Anon you feel understood and can get the help you need to deal with the effects of your loved one on your life.
  • My family member/friend is a drug addict. Can I go to an Al-Anon meeting?
    Al‑Anon Family Groups have one primary purpose: to help families and friends of alcoholics, however Al‑Anon’s 2018 Membership Survey reported that 35% of Al‑Anon members first came to Al‑Anon because of a relative or friend’s drug problem. The survey also showed that 78% of these members eventually realized that someone’s drinking also negatively affected their lives. You are welcome to try Al‑Anon meetings, whether in Israel or worldwide, to see if the program is helpful to you. You may also find help in Nar‑Anon, a program for those affected by someone else’s drug addiction. Visit their web site at: nar‑anon.org For Nar-Anon meetings in Israel visit nar-anon.org.il
  • My parent was an alcoholic. Is Al-Anon for me?
    A recent survey of Al-Anon members reveals that more than half of them consider that their lives have been affected by a parent’s drinking. Even if you are an adult with a family of your own and even if the alcoholic parent is no longer alive, you may still be suffering from the effect alcohol had on your childhood. At Al-Anon meetings and in Al-Anon literature, you may learn a lot about this and hear from others how the program helps them.
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