Al-Anon vs. AiR: How Our Approach Differs

al-anon CRAFT family intervention addiction allies in recovery

Illustration © Eleanor Davis

 

Al-Anon versus CRAFT

At Allies in Recovery, we are dedicated to working with the families of addicted loved ones. We aim to empower the family so that they can become their loved one’s ally in moving towards recovery. We are also concerned with the family members’ wellbeing.

Al-Anon is an organization that focuses primarily on the family member and their recovery from being with someone who abuses substances.

The 12 steps of AA guide this process of self-discovery and healing.  Al-Anon stresses our lack of control over someone else’s drug or alcohol use. They believe that there is nothing to be done until the loved one hits bottom, admits the problem, and stops using.  In the meantime, the family member is supposed to detach with love.

At AiR we agree there is no controlling someone’s substance use, BUT we differ on a crucial point: a family member does have influence.  A family member is part of the immediate environment and can create the conditions that promote sobriety and recovery.

So it follows that at AiR, we teach the family member a set of skills for better responding to a loved one’s behavior. When they are using, you’re going to allow natural consequences, detach yourself, and remove rewards. When they aren’t using you’re going to reward that behavior.

This set of principles applies to the present moment, and can also be applied to the larger decisions that hang over many families: housing, financial support, use of the car, help with the logistics of getting treatment.

Our approach teaches that there are actions you can and should take while your loved one is still using. By doing so, you will help to unblock the situation, moving your loved one towards treatment and recovery.

On this important point, AiR is different from Al-Anon.  However, the support you may gain from a group of people with a shared experience can be so very helpful.  If you find Al-Anon helps, by all means seek out meetings BUT also learn the skills we teach at AiR.

70% of families trained in our program succeed in getting their loved one to enter treatment — this is a critically important outcome that confirms that taking action works. It is proof that you play a role. It is evidence that intervening before a loved one hits bottom is successful in helping them towards treatment and recovery.

Join our Member Site today to take full advantage of Allies in Recovery’s program, including 8 video modules, three blogs, and dialogue with experts in the fields of treatment and recovery. Learn more here.

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By | 2017-02-26T20:49:58+00:00 September 2nd, 2015|Family Addiction Intervention, Rewards, Self-Care|

About the Author:

Dominique Simon-Levine
Dominique launched AiR in 2003. Her work has been featured on HBO and NPR. She is a facilitator and a trained speaker on issues of addiction and the family. She has worked extensively developing and evaluating federally-funded substance abuse programs for organizations and clinics throughout Massachusetts and New York. With an interest in recovery and substance abuse that spans 20 years, she sees a huge need to help families develop the skills that will help a loved one recover fully in a supportive, whole, and lasting way in their families and in their communities. Her mission is to have AiR fill that gap.