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What is Alateen?
Alateen is a support group for people aged 13 to 18 that have had their lives affected by someone who abuses alcohol. Members of this support group talk about the difficulties of life with someone who is an alcoholic and encourage each other. This group shares effective ways to handle problems and they give each other hope.
Alateen is part of Al-Anon, a family group for those who care about someone who is an alcoholic. Each Alateen group has an Alateen Group Sponsor, maybe two. The sponsors are Al-Anon members who have completed a certification process to provide safety and guidance. They also keep the meeting focused on the program. The sponsors do not take on a teacher or parent role. If there is not an Alateen meeting available teens are welcome to join the local Al-Anon meetings for support.
Teenagers who love someone that has an alcohol problem may ask questions like:
- Who are alcoholics?
- Is there a cure for this illness?
- Why does my mother or father drink too much?
- Can I get an alcoholic to stop drinking?
- What if my friends do not want to come to my house?
- When will they realize they are alcoholics?
- What if the alcoholic never stops drinking?
- What to say to my friends when they see a family member drunk?
- What should I do if there is a violent situation?
- Does it matter if I get help if the alcoholic does not get help?
These are some possible topics that can be discussed among the group. There are some things that are not allowed at an Alateen meeting. It is not a social hangout, and no complaining about parents or anyone else is allowed. This is not a program for teenagers who have drug or alcohol problems.
The Need for Alcohol Support Groups in Borree Corner, Arizona
Based on recent research there is a need present for alcohol abuse support groups for the alcoholics and for those who are affected by someone else’s alcohol problem. The Pinal County Community Health Needs Assessment provides some statistics.
- A 2018 survey of youth showed that 39.1% of 8th grade students had used alcohol, and 54% of 12th grade students have used alcohol.
- 20.2% of students have used alcohol in the 30 days before the survey
- Binge drinking also occurred in the 30 days before the survey. Binge drinking is having 5 or more alcoholic drinks in a row.
- 7% of 8th grade students participated in binge drinking
- 5.6% of 10th grade students participated in binge drinking
- 10.4% of 12th grade students participated in binge drinking
- 56% of those surveyed said that they themselves, a friend, or a family member has experienced alcohol addiction or abuse
- 70% of those who participated in the survey considered alcohol abuse a top risky behavior in the community
- 53% of those surveyed considered drug and alcohol addiction and overdose a significant health problem in the community
- 81% of the people surveyed reported that they, a family member, or a friend has at least one mental health condition.
- 66% of the people are struggling with depression
- 66% of the people are also struggling with anxiety
- 33% of the people have had suicidal thoughts
- 28% have been given a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
The Benefits of Support Groups
There are many benefits to participating in support groups. One when a person realizes they are not the only one experiencing these problems. This can bring a sense of relief, knowing that others might understand what the person is going through. Once a person is feeling safe and supported, they can begin to express their feelings.
A support group can provide many resources as members share their experiences and tips. Some groups may recommend books or focus on coping skills. Being part of a support group can reduce feelings of distress and build up feelings of hope. As a person is working on healing themselves, they may realize that they can help others in the group at the same time.
Signs of Alcohol Abuse to Look For:
- Coming up with reasons to drink
- Choosing to drink instead of taking care of responsibilities
- Having extreme mood swings or irritability
- Isolating themselves from family and friends
- Drinking alone or in secret
- Changing friends and acquaintances
- Loss of interest in sports, activities, or hobbies
- Legal problems related to alcohol
- Forgetting what happened when they were drunk
- They get angry when confronted about drinking
- Having to drink more to get the same effect
- The inability to get through everyday activities without a drink
Can Someone Recover From Alcohol Addiction With a Support Group?
For some people it is absolutely possible to recover from an addiction with the help of a support group. This works best for those who have not been a heavy user, or for someone who has been addicted for a short period of time. People who have been long term users or drank a lot often would be best served by detox and some inpatient therapy. A support group is also helpful for those who have completed an inpatient program, it helps them stay on the path of recovery.
There is More Information Available About Alcohol Recovery Meetings in Borree Corner, Arizona
Inpatient rehab is not a best fit for everyone going through alcohol addiction. Attending an alcohol recovery support group may be the best option for some people. Sometimes the family members of alcoholics need more support to cope with their loved one’s problem. Springboard Recovery can help. Not only is there information about Alateen, but there are also other support groups available:
- Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and Al-Anon meetings
- SMART recovery meetings
- Narcotics Anonymous Meetings