Today is Tuesday, March 15, 2016
The Manassas area FA meeting follows the inclement weather of Prince William County Schools. If schools are closed there will be no meeting as the Church will be locked.
Who is Families Anonymous Designed to Help? FA is a national organization focused on the fellowship of adults whose lives have been affected by a loved one’s drinking or drugging. Talking with other people experiencing the same issues will help you find ways to cope. You may need to make some big changes in YOUR life as YOUR life is the life you can change. Experience has proven that helping ourselves can be the most important thing we do to help those we care about. Typically, newcomers are looking for new ways to change someone else. At FA meetings we begin to see the importance of looking at our own role in the drama. FA is designed to get the spotlight off the abuser and put it on ourselves. As such, this meeting is not appropriate for the abuser, or anyone under the age of 18 .
Fear to Faith Whenever I imagine that my children need the help that only I can give to save them from an unfortunate situation, I have to stop. I stop everything I am planning, any action I’m about to propose, stop thinking of alternatives that might work, and stop trying to fix everything. I have to break away from the whirlpool that’s waiting to suck me down – the whirlpools of irrationality that immerses me so completely in another’s problems that I no longer exist for myself. I remind myself of past occasions when I permitted my children to work out their own solutions and how well they did without my interference. Sometimes it is only fear that spurs me to action: fear that without my help they will be incapable of solving their problems, fear that they will make things even worse, fear that they may ruin their lives, fear….that they no longer need me! When I allow fear and insecurity to dominate my thinking, I become an obstacle to my own growth and the growth of my children. My Higher Power really does guide others as well as me.
Thought of the Week The Three C’s When Thinking Of Our Loved Ones & Related Feelings of Guilt, Shame, and Pain
I did not CAUSE it…
I cannot CONTROL it…
I cannot CURE it….

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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!

Families Anonymous is a FREE twelve-step program for those adults concerned about drug abuse and related behavioral problems of a relative or friend.

  • 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
  • Reclusive
  • 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 for?

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.

The 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? – Testimonials

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 go!


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.

Tom J.


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 our groups.

  • 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.


We have found that our success in this program is determined by how well we accept and apply the following suggested steps:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over drugs and other people’s lives – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity to
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.

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