BY CAROL WEIR
When alcohol is ruining your family life, it’s hard to be optimistic about the future. In the Lowcountry, help is at hand and better days can be on the horizon. Al-Anon is a mutual support program for people whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking. By sharing common experiences and applying the Al-Anon principles, families and friends of alcoholics can bring positive changes to their individual situations, whether the alcoholic acknowledges the drinking problem or seeks help.
Many who come to Al-Anon are in despair, feeling hopeless, unable to believe that things can ever change. They come to Al-Anon because they want and need help.
At Al-Anon meetings, members share their own experience, strength, and hope with each other. They come together to learn a better way of life and to find happiness whether the alcoholic is still drinking or has gotten sober.
And there is help for all members of a family affected by alcoholism. Alateen, part of the Al-Anon Family Groups, is a fellowship of young people, mostly teenagers, offering support to other kids their own age going through similar things.
One of the Al-Anon and Alateen program’s basic principles is that of anonymity. Meetings are confidential, and there are no fees or dues to attend. Alateen and Al-Anon are not religious programs.
The Ultimate Alateen Group meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays at Bluffton United Methodist Church, 101 Calhoun St., Bluffton. For a schedule of Al-Anon meetings in the Lowcountry, go to: al-anon-sc. org/district-6.html. For more information about Al-Anon and Alateen, call 843-785-9630.