Drinking Affects Family Members Who also Need A Healing Process

By Michel Perron

The harms of alco­hol and drug abuse are not limited to the user alone. One-third of adults report that they have experienced harm in the past year as a result of some­one else’s drinking (Canadian Addiction Survey 2006). One in ten reports family and marriage prob­lems as a consequence of drinking. Clearly, substance abuse is an issue that affects not only the user, but the family as well.

The involvement of family members in the healing process has long been recognized as a factor in the success of treatment. Canada’s National Treatment Strategy acknowledges the role of family mem­bers in an integrated systems approach to planning and deliver­ing services and sup­ports for substance abuse problems. Gen­eral social support of family as well as sub­stance-specific support has been demonstrated to provide valuable contributions to initial and longer-term treat­ment outcomes. The involvement of family in the treatment and support of adolescent substance users has been shown to be par­ticularly beneficial.

The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) acknowledges and appreciates the long standing and valuable contribution Al-Anon Family Groups provides to families across Canada, the U.S., and globally. It is through their types of services that those most affected by their loved ones’ substance abuse can benefit from help, guidance, and support.

Michel Perron is the Chief Executive Officer for the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse in Ottawa, Ontario.

Al-Anon is:

  • A program that applies spiritual principles but is not affiliated with any religion or religious organization. Al-Anon/Alateen includes peo­ple of different religious beliefs, as well as indi­viduals who do not have any religious faith.
  • A recovery program that is compatible with professional counseling, therapy, or treatment.

Al-Anon is not:

  • Allied with any sect, political entity, organiza­tion, or institution.
  • A program to help people achieve or maintain sobriety.
  • Involved in any issues outside of our pro­gram-neither endorses, opposes, or has any opinion about any cause.

How do I find an Al-Anon or Alateen meeting?

Monday-Friday, 8a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

or visit
for meeting information.

Al-Anon may also be listed in your local telephone directory.

Randy Haveson

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Randy Haveson
Randy Haveson is the Founder & CEO of HERO House, a sober living, recovery residence program for college students in early sobriety from addictions. Learn More

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