Alcoholism’s devastating impact on families’ lives

TODAY is the start of Alcohol Awareness Week and a support group will highlight the impacts alcohol has on people.

Unlike Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Al-Anon was founded to support people who were affected by someone else’s drinking.

A group meets in Chichester every Friday at 8pm in the Old Glassworks, St Cyriacs.

Anonymity is guaranteed for all who attend and only first names are used.

Graham is one such member. His wife passed away two years ago after battling with alcoholism.

“Al-Anon just helped me cope,” he said.

“It’s been a real boon to me.”

As well as Chichester, there is another group that meets in Bognor Regis on Mondays at 8pm at 22 Sudley Road.

Graham described alcoholism as a ‘disease’ and said there was a lot to help people afflicted by it.

However, he said less was made of the people who were affected by someone they knew turning to alcohol, which is where Al-Anon came in.

“It’s a group for those affected by someone else’s drinking,” he said.

The national charity’s website is www.al-anonuk.org.uk.

There is also a helpline available from 10am-10pm every day on 02074 030888.

He said anyone wanting to attend the Bognor or Chichester groups was very welcome.