If your family member has a drug, alcohol, or behavioral problem,
can you see what it’s doing to you? Are you at your wits end?
Do you need help in coping? Is someone you love destroying family
harmony? Free and effective help exists. Families Anonymous
offers free help and free weekly meetings close to your home!
Anonymous is a FREE twelve-step program for those adults concerned
about drug abuse and related behavioral problems of a relative or
- Completely anonymous
- Non-professional and non-religious
- No dues and no fees
- Not connected with any hospital, agency, or church
There are many 12-Step and other programs such as AA, Al Anon,
Ala Teen, NA., Tough Love, etc. Families Anonymous (FA) is based
on the 12-step philosophy. While many that attend do so as a result
of their child’s use of mind altering drugs or alcohol, FA
is for the adult family member concerned about ANY family member
with these issues. Clearly, the issues can be very different when
the family member we are concerned about is a child, particularly
a minor child.
Many of us see the same issues; the same tell tale concerns. We
have been there and have learned to live one-day-at-a-time. We have
learned that we can get out of the cycle of guilt and fear and begin
to live a better life.
How about you? Does any of this sound familiar? Is your child:
- Suddenly failing classes
- Not going to school
- Being disrespectful to family and others
- Having legal issues
- Difficult to speak with
- Moody, irritable
- Up late at night unable to sleep
- Hanging out with a new group of friends that concern you or
that you have not met
- Have you caught your child using drugs or alcohol and do you
believe it is the first time it has happened – that you
caught it early….
Who is Families Anonymous
Not everyone who comes into this program is concerned about the
use of drugs. However, in today’s world, all of us need to
confront this issue. Also, those with an emotional problem often
turn to drugs in search of a solution to their problems.
Anyone concerned about a loved one's use of mind-altering substances
or related behavioral problems are encouraged to attend. You will
feel welcome at your very first meeting. FA is best suited for adult
family members as opposed to teens or ‘tweens. FA Teens is
an appropriate option for that age group. FA is also not for the
person with the addiction issue. There are numerous other 12-step
meetings that are better suited to assist those with addition issues.
group's purpose is to provide mutual support, and to offer a safe
place to share experiences and concerns. Attending meetings helps
members adopt an honest and consistent approach towards the addict.
With group support, members are able to come to terms with the problems
in their lives. Experience has shown that help for the family and
friends means help for the addict.
We have learned that drug abuse, drug dependence, or addiction
is a matter of illness, not a moral issue. For the purpose of this
program, the label is not important. Dependence on drugs can be
psychological or physical or both. The compulsive use of drugs or
alcohol does not indicate a lack of affection for the family. Even
when he knows what will happen when he takes the first pill, drink,
or fix, the drug dependent person may do so. This is the “insanity”
we speak of in regard to this illness.
There is nothing that we as individuals can do to prevent another
person’s abuse of drugs, but we have learned there is much
we can do to avoid standing in the way of his recovery. We have
found that the most constructive approach is to deal with our own
reactions and to learn new ways of coping with our problems. When
we accept drug dependence as an illness and understand there is
something we can do to help both the situation, and ourselves, we
become ready to learn a better way to live.
At our FA meetings we share our experience, strength, and hope
with each other and with new members. Many members have found peace
and serenity, despite unsolved problems, by working the Twelve Steps.
The change in us often helps our loved ones find recovery.
Why FA? –
I’m a single mother of 3 sons
that all seemed to be planning each night how to make me crazy
– and it was working! When I reached the end of my limits
I searched for help for my boys and surprisingly found help
for myself. Two of my sons went to a counselor that required
parental participation in a support group. This confused me
at first as I thought, “I’m not the one with the
problem!” After attending a few FA meetings I began
to see that I too had a problem. As I began to apply the concepts
of FA, and work the 12-steps, I began to feel better and remarkably
a change in my attitude actually began to positively affect
my whole family. FA was (and is) a lifeline for me. Thank
goodness I was “required” to attend a support
group during my sons treatment. Now I go because I WANT to
I began attending the Battlefield
Group of Families Anonymous in January of 1991. At first,
I felt somewhat resentful that I was the one attending meetings
because of someone else's drug problem. But as time went on,
I realized how much FA was helping me improve my own character
and behavior. I continued regular attendance until 1999, and
then helped form a new group in 2000, on the request of a
drug counselor. I stayed with that group for nearly two years
before drifting away. I recently rejoined the Battlefield
Group in Manassas, Virginia. Why stay with FA? It really DOES
WORK if YOU WORK IT. There are no quick fixes in life.
I have been attending for almost
12 years now and I don't know what I would do if I could not
get to meetings. I also know that I am so much better today
because I continue to go to meetings.
When we first started attending meetings I didn't talk
much and I didn't know what to say. You see I am in a little
different situation then most people who come, I am a step
parent of two addicts and I have a son who is an addict. Out
of 4 children I have had my hands full trying to make them
do what I wanted them to do. After FA I have learned that
I have my hands full trying to just take care of me. With
the help of FA and my sponsor I am doing a lot better, I can
honestly say I am comfortable in my own skin and I have relationships
with all of my children. We try to get together as a family
about once a month or more and we can have a good time together
because I don't try and live their lives, I can live my life
and allow them to live their's. This can only happen if I
keep going to meetings.
Slogans such as those that are listed below can become the single
simple statement that gets you through a difficult time. These and
the Serenity Prayer are frequently cited as lifelines to many in
- One Day At A Time
- Let Go and Let God
- How Important Is It
- Keep It Simple
- Just For Today
- Live And Let Live
- The three C’s – I did not Cause it, I cannot Control
it, I cannot Cure it.
FAMILIES ANONYMOUS TWELVE STEPS
We have found that our success in this program is determined by
how well we accept and apply the following suggested steps:
- We admitted we were powerless over drugs and other people’s
lives – that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore
us to sanity.
a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of
God, as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the
exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing
to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except
when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong
promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious
contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge
of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps,
we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these
principles in all our affairs.
God, grant me the
Accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Families Anonymous is a non-profit fellowship requiring no dues
or fees. FA is self-supporting through voluntary contributions and
the sale of FA's published literature. Families Anonymous is not
affiliated with any religion or institution.
For more information on the Families Anonymous organization, CLICK
For more information on local NOVA Families Anonymous meetings,
For other locations throughout the country, CLICK
To Subscribe to E-Meetings, CLICK
Now That’s Working It!