Al-Anon offers help to people affected by alcoholics

Staff Report
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The holiday season usually puts families and friends of problem drinkers on guard. It’s difficult to relax and enjoy yourself when you’re waiting for a crisis to start.

In the U.S. there are 18 million problem drinkers, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. According to commonly accepted health-care provider estimates, each alcoholic adversely affects the lives of an estimated four to 10 people. The number of impacted Americans is between 72 million and 180 million men, women and children.

Since holidays tend to exaggerate situations in the office, at home, and on the highway, tragedies can occur very quickly. Al-Anon World Service Office information analyst Nicolette Stephens explained, “People whose loved ones are problem drinkers tend to suffer anxiety whether or not actual tragedies occur. Spending the holidays with your guard up is not exactly the same as having a great time.”

Stephens added, “To help the drinker, you may need to help yourself first.”

More than 16,000 Al-Anon Family Groups throughout the U.S. and Canada welcome anyone who has been affected by someone else’s drinking. For information about an Al-Anon meeting, call 1 (888) 966-4662 or 1 (970) 256-4662, or during business hours (Eastern Time) call 1-888-4AL-ANON. On the Web, visit

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