Family recovery key to treatment for alcoholism.
Alcoholics and alcohol abusers attract more public attention, but their families and friends also suffer long-term effects from alcoholism-and their recovery may be essential to the alcoholic’s recovery, according to a leading researcher in the field.
"Alcoholism is a family disease. While it is important for the family to support the alcoholic’s recovery, it is also important for members of the family to get involved in their own recovery.
Family recovery decreases the chances that the children of alcoholics will repeat the pattern and engage in unhealthy relationships," said Robert J. Ackerman, Ph.D., cofounder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics and director of the Mid-Atlantic Addiction Training Institute at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), there are 18 million alcoholics in the U.S. More than 500,000 Canadians are dependent on alcohol, according to the Canadian Community Health Survey. According to commonly accepted health-care provider estimates, each alcoholic adversely affects the lives of an estimated four-to-ten people. The number of impacted American and Canadian family members and friends is between 74 and 185 million.
"CCSA and Al-Anon are working toward a common goal, to reduce alcohol-related harm to families." Perron added, "We commend the work Al-Anon has done for more than 55 years to provide support to families touched by alcohol dependency. " CCSA provides objective, evidence-based information and advice aimed at reducing the health, social, and economic harm associated with substance abuse and addictions.
For 55 years relatives and friends of alcoholics in Al-Anon Family Groups have shared experience and hope with each other in order to solve their common problems.
Al-Anon believes alcoholism is a family illness and that changed attitudes can aid recovery.