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Al-Anon celebrates 40 years of service

KATIE HUNTER, Special to The Standard

For 40 years, Al-Anon has been a support group for people affected by someone else's drinking. It is a 12-step program which provides a supportive and non-judgmental environment, for family members and friends of individuals with alcohol addiction to come together, share their experiences, and learn how to cope with the challenges of living with or being close to someone with addiction.

Al-Anon is based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and offers a similar approach to recovery. However, Al-Anon focuses specifically on the needs of those affected by someone else's drinking, rather than on the individuals struggling with alcohol addiction themselves.

I attended a meeting on Monday night, to better understand what they are about. Meeting some of these people was eye-opening and overwhelming to hear their stories and how much love and understanding they have coming into these meetings.

We listened to two different people tell about their struggles with addiction and how these meetings changed not only their lives but their families' lives as well. Learning, an addiction is not just that, but a family disease; some have grown up with an addiction in their household all their lives and have not even known it.

The group offers support through regular meetings, where participants can share their experiences, listen to others, and learn from the group's collective wisdom. The meetings are typically held in-person or online and are free to attend.

Al-Anon also provides literature and other resources, to help members understand and cope with the impact of alcoholism on their lives. Al-Anon meetings are held worldwide and right here in our community. Families struggling with addiction often face various challenges and difficulties which can be very stressful and overwhelming.

Addiction is a disease which affects not only the individual struggling with it but also their loved ones, including family members, partners, and friends. Families need to seek support and help when dealing with addiction.

Support groups like Al-Anon can provide a safe and supportive environment, for families to share their experiences, learn from others, and receive support and guidance. Professional counselling and therapy can also be helpful for families dealing with addiction-related issues. Families need to remember they are not alone and help is available.

Remember, these meetings are not just for alcoholism but for all addictions, and everyone impacted. If you are looking for help for addiction, for yourself or someone you love, please check out your local library for Al-Anon books or call 905-728-1020. You can also visit their website at

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