As a professional in the law or law enforcement field, you no doubt encounter case after case of family disturbances. You may deal with domestic violence, divorce, child abuse, incest, teenage delinquency, and criminal activity every day. Are you aware that many, perhaps even most of those problems are the result of alcohol abuse? Being fully aware of alcoholism's destructive effects, you can help alleviate them by recommending the AL-ANON recovery program for troubled family members.

An AL-ANON member shares the following with a police officer: "Officer, do you remember me? fm the woman who frantically called you three times this year because my husband came home drunk and was violent. You were annoyed because I called for help so often. Yet after each incident, I'd go back into the same situation without taking legal action. A few months ago, I began attending AL-ANON meetings regularly. Because of the support I receive from others who have had similar experiences, it's clear to me I do not have to accept violence as a part of my life. Today, AL-ANON is giving me the courage to take the necessary steps to protect rnyself and my children." (Taken from "An Open Letter to The Police" by AFG, Inc.) 

An attorney familiar with alcohol abuse relates his views: "A client comes into the office seeking assistance for having been arrested for driving while intoxicated-the second or third such incident in the last few years. Or a spouse seeks an order of protection against the physical abuse by the other spouse, which frequently occurs after some drinks have been consumed. Those are obvious cases where the effects of drinking are causing problems. But what about the not-so-obvious cases?

"As a lawyer, I do not agonize over whether alcohol abuse is the cause. I make some simple inquiries as to the drinking habits of the client and family members, and when the story indicates that some area of the person's Iife is affected by somebody's abuse of alcohol, then the problem is identified. I make it a practice not to label the person but simply to suggest AL-ANON, ALATEEN or AA. Very often clients come back to me saying that they checked out AL-ANON or AA and there seems to be something there for them. Although they may not always be able to change their circumstances, they can change their attitude and their reaction to circumstances and are amazed at finding a degree of serenity." 



These materials are adapted and reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA

More than 50% of juvenile delinquents come from alcoholic families.
In more than 50% of the divorces in the United States, excessive drinking is cited as a major factor.
AL-ANON and ALATEEN meetings may be held in correctional facilities, family courts and juvenile detention centers.