I am writing in response to the Dec. 1 Current in Carmel cover story: “A cautionary tale: After overdose deaths of family members, authors publish book about dangers of addiction.”
First, my heart goes out to the writers for the pain and loss they’ve experienced. Awareness, through any means, can be an effective tool to help fight the devastating disease of addiction.
Having struggled with a family member myself, it’s important to know that there is another way to help their loved ones. I was introduced to an organization I had never heard of while attending sessions at a treatment center where my family member was staying. They referred me to Al-Anon, which is a sister organization to Alcoholics Anonymous.
Al-Anon Family Groups were started over 65 years ago and meet in over 130 countries to help families and friends. There are over 50 meetings in the Indianapolis area alone. Members help each other by practicing the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous themselves, by welcoming and giving positive solutions to families of alcoholics and by giving understanding and encouragement to the alcoholic.
What I discovered was an anonymous, spiritual (not religious) program, and a community of people that helped me make better decisions for myself and consequently, my loved one. As a result of years in meetings and working the program, which I’ll gladly do for the rest of my life, I can gratefully say my family member recently celebrated six years of sobriety in AA. I know the steps I took and the changes I made were instrumental in their recovery.
There is help and hope for family members, and lives can be changed and restored.
Alice Howe, Carmel