Find Al-Anon Meetings in Tampa
Al-Anon Family Groups, most often referred to simply as Al-Anon, is a mutual support group for family members and friends of alcoholics headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The organization is a worldwide fellowship committed to offering programs to the loved ones of people affected by alcoholism. Al-Anon does not dictate that the person in your life who is abusing alcohol be in recovery or any type of rehab program for friends and family members to take advantage of their services. The organization also has a division specifically for younger relatives and friends called Alateen. Al-Anon refers to alcoholism as a family illness. One of their tenets is that everyone attached to a person is affected when they abuse or become addicted to alcohol. Al-Anon is not an intervention program but is meant to support all those impacted by someone’s alcohol abuse.
Al-Anon has a shared history with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and was founded in 1951, 16 years after AA, in part by Lois W., wife of AA founder Bill W. Before Al-Anon’s inception, informal groups of friends and family members met independently, prompting the founding of the organization.
The primary connection between AA and Al-Anon is the use of the 12 Steps, with only a slight variation in the twelfth step indicating “others” as opposed to “alcoholics.” People often approach Al-Anon with the intent of stopping someone’s drinking, which of course, is well-intended. Still, the organization’s primary focus is that friends and family members are traumatized by their loved one’s alcohol abuse. The organization’s literature focuses on family members and friends’ well-known problems such as excessive care-taking and many emotional and psychological issues instead of those faced by the alcoholic themselves.
The Al-Anon organization structure can best be described as an inverted pyramid, with the most significant portion at the top representing all of the individual support groups that meet locally around the world. Many of these groups are located in the Tampa area for people to take advantage of at varying locations. Al-Anon is also divided into districts and regions, with the overall World Service being the smallest level of the organization, including the board of trustees. Al-Anon can be an excellent way for people to work through the issues they are having with a family member with the support of people who know exactly what they are going through. Family members of alcoholics can suffer many of the same setbacks, including impacts to financial well-being, relationships, careers, and their own physical and mental health. There’s never a wrong time to reach out to a local group in the Tampa area to find out more about the available support to everyone who is suffering due to the effects of alcoholism. WhiteSands is committed to providing first-class treatment for alcohol & drug rehab in Tampa. That’s why we produce content like this. We want to see everyone get the help they need.
Al-Anon Meetings in Tampa
Al-Anon meetings in the Tampa area are held in both the morning and evening at various locations. Some locations take advantage of virtual meeting technology when deemed appropriate. Meetings in Tampa are held primarily in English, but times and locations can be found in Spanish. Most sessions are open to family, friends, and outsiders interested in observing and finding out more about the organization. Here are some of the Al-Anon meetings held in the Tampa area:
Road to Recovery at Oak Grove United Methodist Church
This meeting occurs at 10:30 a.m. and is open to anyone interested in the family disease of alcoholism. Some groups invite members of the professional community to hear how the Al-Anon program aids in recovery. This is one way Al-Anon becomes more well-known throughout a community and society as a whole. Due to the fact that alcoholism can affect so many parts of a person’s life and the lives of those around them, knowledge of the organization and its availability can be very beneficial to all members of a community.
Lutz AFG at Publix
Friends, family members, and observers are all welcome at this meeting at 7 p.m. There is a second-floor community room at this Publix location that is used for the meeting. Al-Anon is self-supporting through its own voluntary contributions. There are no dues for membership. This is important for the members of any community to know so that they are not worried about attending meetings or that there is any cost involved.
New Tampa Experience, Strength & Hope
at Family of Christ Lutheran Church
This 7:30 p.m. meeting is open to everyone and takes place in the Sanctuary, the farthest building from the entrance to the church grounds. Many Al-Anon family group meetings begin with the “Suggested Al-Anon/Alateen Welcome”, which starts: “We welcome you to the [Name of Group] Al-Anon Family Group and hope you will find in this fellowship the help and friendship we have been privileged to enjoy.” This note of inclusion is another way Al-Anon promotes membership to those attending meetings as observers. One of the most critical underlying messages that all support groups communicate to people is that they are not alone in their struggle.
The Happy, Joyous & Free AFG at Palma Ceia Presbyterian
This closed meeting occurs at 7:30 p.m. and is limited to members and prospective members. These are persons who feel their lives have been affected by alcoholism in a family member or friend. This meeting runs concurrently with an AA meeting at the same location. Although not the primary goal of Al-Anon, there are many benefits to alcoholics and family members being a part of AA and Al-Anon, respectfully. As both groups use the 12-step principle, all family members or friends can become well acquainted with all of the goals associated with the process.
Un Dia a la Vez / One Day at a Time at Club Inc.
This meeting is held at 8 p.m. in the center room at Club Inc. and is conducted primarily in Spanish. The meeting is open to anyone, including observers. Al-Anon makes an effort to reach all portions of a community, like many support groups, by holding meetings in alternate languages where appropriate. This is important for both communication purposes and so that people feel more comfortable sharing their experiences with others.
Benefits of Al-Anon for Staying Sober
One of the significant impacts of alcoholism is the alienation of family, friends, and loved ones due to the adverse effects on a person’s life. Many scenarios can occur when a person abuses alcohol over a period of time. First, they can slowly, but eventually, obviously, remove themselves from their social circles so that people do not witness their drinking. This might lead people to make assumptions but will not fully showcase what is going on in their friend or family member’s life. Second, alcoholics can act out in many ways towards those closest to them. Again, even people who see them frequently may not understand the root of these issues and may dismiss it as something altogether different. Third, people close to someone who is abusing alcohol may distance themselves because they do not want to be near the destructive behavior their friend or family member is displaying. All of these situations can result in relationships that need to be repaired. A big part of that is fully understanding what a person is going through and working through the trauma they have experienced due to their loved one’s alcohol abuse.
One of the benefits of Al-Anon for staying sober is that it allows friends and family members to address what has happened to them separately from the person’s own issues with alcohol. This healing process can lead to family members being more supportive when they seek a road to recovery for themselves. Since both AA and Al-Anon are based on the 12-step approach, people can feel much more comfortable giving support knowing the work the alcoholic is putting in to become and stay sober.
This support can then translate into the person being even more motivated to meet milestones in their recovery. The fact is that every person goes through unique experiences while they are abusing or addicted to alcohol. Thus, each person’s recovery, including what they do in the early steps of detox, rehab, and any other therapy, is just as individualized. However, if a person is in a 12-step process support group, the most prominent being AA, their steps will be similar to those who have gone before them. Al-Anon allows friends and family members to not only understand but mirror these steps, adding significantly to the amount of support they can offer.
If you have a family member or loved one whose life is being negatively impacted by alcohol, please reach out to a local Al-Anon group for help and support.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.