Al-Anon helps deal with drinking problems during the holidays

Today we’re talking with Al-Anon members about how Al-Anon helps them deal with holiday drinking problems.

How to locate a meeting

“First Steps to Al-Anon Recovery” from Al-Anon Family Groups is a series of podcasts to discuss some common concerns for people who have been affected by someone else’s drinking.


  1. OSM November 2018 at 10:14 am

    No one can control someone else’s drinking. The only thing you can do is get support for yourself. Al-Anon meetings are held year round, including during the holidays. Local members can share with you how they handle the holidays and that might give you some ideas of things you can try as well. To find a meeting in your area, visit

  2. Laura Anne November 2018 at 5:57 pm

    I just want someone to tell me what to do. My son is 21 and has had serious drug issues but is currently “only” (as far as I know) drinking and smoking pot. He has a job and a place. He’s announced he’s coming to Thanksgiving dinner at my sister’s house — I told him not to show up if he’s stoned — and he said fine, but he’ll bring his own 6-pack. People WILL be drinking at this event, so whether he brings it or not, it will be available. Do I tell my sister and give her the option to draw a line in the sand for my son? when we all know my dad will drink too much and no one’s going to stop him? (altho we might — we HAVE — taken his keys away.) Or do I leave everyone to their own decisions and only intervene if there’s a problem? which is extremely likely? And then how do I handle the otherwise very successful and functional grandfather drinking and getting belligerent vs. the not at all successful 21-year-old? My dad is super judgmental and my son is very defensive and sees the double standard. God help us.

  3. Carole December 2015 at 6:32 pm

    I am better just finding this Facebook page.

  4. Gail April 2013 at 9:22 am

    My husband and I are 63 and 64 years old and have been living with an alcoholic/drug addicted son for 12 plus years. This son is now 30 and has been in rehab in his early 20s, and has also served some jail time for drug issues and alcohol-related issues. He has always been verbally abusive, but now has become physical with his father.

    We did call the police last week and he moved out. He has no job so I do not know how long this can last. He called last night asking for money, which we normally give him. We are now saying no, and he lashes out and tells us his problems are all because of us and the way he was raised, etc.

    OK. So that being said. My biggest concern is his extreme alcoholism effects if we do not give him money. I think I am afraid he will go into a serious withdrawal. We also refused to buy him cigarettes, and he said he could not quit two things at once.

    This is probably the first time we have really decided that nothing we have helped him with or given him has worked. He has nothing but contempt for us, and times when he is nice it is usually because he needs something. We are stupid and have always been so thrilled he is being nice that we fall for it.

    The problems of overdrawing his bank account, stealing, etc. we have parachuted in and tried to fix with attorneys and our own finances over and over again. Yes, we have been patsies.

    We know what we should do, I think. But again, my biggest concern is the alcohol withdrawal if he cannot get a drink. We have offered to send him to rehab/detox or what it is called, but he refuses.

    We are so weary and sad and exhausted. We don’t enjoy socializing or entertaining anymore because we are always on pins and needles. And–funny thing–we still love him and have hope. But it is diminishing.

  5. Vickie January 2013 at 7:36 pm

    My brother was arrested 12/27/12. He is also a probation violator/absconder. He was driving his car.

    He doesn’t have my phone number, can’t allow him to have it. Through his daughter’s grandmother, he wants me to go get his car in a grocery store parking lot. My husband of 38 years has never told me “no” about anything. He has now. He told me not to get the car. Let it be towed or whatever. I have told my brother, age 42, that if his car ever got impounded not to call me, that I was done enabling him.

    I am having such a hard time not getting the car. He will have only the clothes on his back when he gets out of jail and all his important papers are in his car. I have set my guidelines and am miserable following them. My brother has ruined every Christmas season for years–I want it to all end.

    I have to be strong and am suffering. I want to rush in and keep the car that he is not supposed to drive. He has no license and served 6 months for 2 DUI’s in the past.

    He turns to alcohol or pot every time he fights with the mother of his children or is upset. Our mother died 3 years ago and my brother lived with her and made her life a living hell. Now he is making mine miserable too. My brain knows it isn’t right, but my emotions are fried.

  6. Marilyn December 2012 at 6:14 pm

    The tools for helping deal with drinking during Christmastime are always valuable to me. I really thank you and appreciate the helpful and honest sharings.

  7. Pam December 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Thanks. That’s why KIS, Keep It Simple, is one of my favorite slogans.

  8. Dana November 2012 at 3:57 pm

    This is just what I needed to hear this morning. Living with active drinking during the holiday season is difficult. What can I change? Only myself and my attitudes are my business. I can accept others for themselves and do my best to know in my heart they are doing the best they can–right now.

    Thank goodness for Conference Approved Literature, meetings, sponsors and Al-Anon members!

    Holidays–This too shall pass!

  9. Lisa November 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Thank you for your post. It is very helpful today as I try to put the holiday season into perspective.

    “Let go, Let God” has been an amazing help to me to cope with many difficult situations. The strategy, “Keep it Simple,” is very good to remember right now. The “holidays” are actually two or three days of 8 hours. Not a season of turmoil. My goal is to relax and enjoy those two or three days and not overdo my expectations or planning.

    Thank you for sharing this.

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