Al-Anon is a widely recognised organization that provides a support network for individuals affected by someone else’s addiction. Founded in 1951, Al-Anon works on the principle that alcoholism is a family disease. It recognises that the effects of addiction extend beyond the person using substances and can profoundly impact family members and friends. Al-Anon aims to help these individuals find hope, strength and understanding by connecting with others who have had similar experiences.

Core Principles of Al-Anon

  • Acknowledging Powerlessness: Al-Anon promotes the understanding that one cannot control or change the alcoholic’s behavior. Recognising this ‘powerlessness’ over the drinker’s actions is central to the Al-Anon philosophy.
  • Self-Focus for Effective Support: The program encourages members to prioritise their own well-being and personal growth. This self-focus is essential to create a healthy environment that may indirectly influence the alcoholic towards recovery.

Understanding Alcoholism as a Family Disease

  • Impact Beyond the Individual: Alcoholism is often seen as a ‘family disease,’ affecting not only the individual but also their loved ones. Al-Anon addresses the emotional and psychological toll on those close to the alcoholics.
  • Breaking the Cycle of Shame and Secrecy: The fellowship provides a safe space to share experiences and struggles, helping to alleviate the shame, secrecy and fear commonly associated with being close to someone with alcoholism.

Benefits of Al-Anon

  • Support and Strength: Members gain support and strength from others who have faced similar challenges. This communal support is invaluable in naviga
  • ting the complexities of a loved one’s addiction.
  • Personal Growth and Healing: By focusing on their own needs and well-being, members learn to set healthy boundaries and make positive changes in their lives.

Indirect Influence on the Alcoholic

  • Encouraging Alcohol Recovery : Often, the self-empowerment and boundary-setting by friends and relatives can serve as a catalyst for the alcoholics to seek recovery and sobriety. However, this is not the primary goal of Al-Anon; the focus remains on the well-being of the members.

Al-Anon offers a unique and necessary perspective in dealing with the challenges of being close to someone with alcoholism. While the approach of prioritising oneself may seem counterintuitive to some, it is a vital step in creating a healthier dynamic for all involved.

Al-Anon meetings are available worldwide and are usually held in person, although virtual meetings have become more common in recent years. The meetings provide a safe space where participants can share their feelings and learn from one another’s experiences. Through a program of twelve steps, participants are encouraged to focus on their own well-being and personal growth, regardless of whether the person struggling with addiction seeks help.

During these meetings, you will often encounter terms like “”codependency”” and “”enabling.”” Codependency refers to a behavioural pattern where individuals excessively rely on others and neglect their own needs in the process. This can perpetuate the cycle of addiction by shielding the individual struggling with substances from the consequences of their actions. Enabling, on the other hand, refers to actions that inadvertently support the addictive behaviors, such as providing financial resources or making excuses for them.

Al-Anon meetings may also touch upon the principle of detachment. This concept encourages individuals to let go of their attempts to control or fix the person’s addiction and instead focus on their own well-being. By detaching, you can learn to love and support the person while establishing healthy boundaries.

Lastly, Al-Anon promotes the Three Cs: you didn’t cause the addiction, you can’t control it and you can’t cure it. Recognising and internalizing these principles can be transformative and help you find peace of mind in the face of addiction.

Al-Anon serves as a vital support system for thousands of people worldwide. Through its meetings and literature, it offers understanding, hope and guidance to those affected by addiction. If you find yourself impacted by someone else’s substance use, Al-Anon may just be the community you need on your path towards healing.

    Addiction & Mental Health

    Treatment Services

    Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specialising in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance our organisation facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualised care that addresses the physical, mental and social needs of patients.

    Our team, led by Gareth Carter, offers empathetic and professional support, guiding you through every step of the treatment process. Whether you're in South Africa or abroad, our acceptance of various insurance plans makes quality care accessible, providing a platform for lasting recovery and a healthier future.

    Inpatient Rehab

    Rehab care is a good option if you are at risk of experiencing strong withdrawal symptoms when you try stop a substance. This option would also be recommended if you have experienced recurrent relapses or if you have tried a less-intensive treatment without success.


    If you're committed to your sobriety but cannot take a break from your daily duties for an inpatient program. Outpatient rehab treatment might suit you well if you are looking for a less restricted format for addiction treatment or simply need help with mental health.


    Therapy can be good step towards healing and self-discovery. If you need support without disrupting your routine, therapy offers a flexible solution for anyone wishing to enhance their mental well-being or work through personal issues in a supportive, confidential environment.

    Mental Health

    Are you having persistent feelings of being swamped, sad or have sudden surges of anger or intense emotional outbursts? These are warning signs of unresolved trauma mental health. A simple assesment by a mental health expert could provide valuable insights into your recovery.

    Finding the right rehab close to you is simple with WeDoRecover. Our network includes the finest rehab centers, ensuring personalised, quality care for your recovery needs. Let Gareth Carter and our empathetic team help guide you to a center that feels right for you, offering expert care and support. Start your healing today by choosing a rehab that's not just close to you, but also that truly cares about your loved ones recovery.

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