Program seeks to help with relative’s destructive behavior


March 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A program designed to help people cope with loved ones’ destructive behavior is opening a chapter in Omaha/Council Bluffs, the first chapter in either Nebraska or Iowa. Under the 12-step Families Anonymous program, only first names are used. The local organizer, Sally, says F-A helps people deal with the impact brought on by the problems of others.  She says, “Anyone who is concerned about relatives or friends who abuse drugs or alcohol or any substances.” Sally says anyone who has a friend or family member struggling with an addiction knows how this has a ripple effect and impacts many lives.

F-A was founded in 1971 by a group of parents in California. Sally learned about Families Anonymous when searching for a group to help her. She’s been associated with a person with an addiction for about three years and says she started attending meetings on-line.  “In my particular situation, once I began working the 12 steps and began working on me, I began to be able to handle situations very differently by reacting to them differently,” she says. “It changed my life. I feel like I’m getting back to who I was before.” While the group is called Families Anonymous, she says it isn’t exactly set up for smaller children. Sally says, “It’s not something you would probably want to bring a child to but anybody in their teenage years or older would be someone who would able to work the steps appropriately and benefit from the program.”

The local chapter will meet every Wednesday night at 6:30 at Methodist Hospital in Omaha. There are about 225 regular F-A meetings in the U-S and in more than 20 countries.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)