GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Al-Anon groups allow loved ones of those dealing with alcohol use disorder to share their experiences and take care of themselves.

“It’s an organization, an arm of Alcoholics Anonymous, that adheres and aligns with the principles of AA but focuses on the family members and the loved ones and helps them learn to care for themselves,” Rae Green, who founded Sanford Behavioral Health, which facilitates an Al-Anon program, explained.

Al-Anon offers support groups for family members, including separate groups for children and teens. Green said Sanford’s family program has 98 families participating.

She said the meetings provide an environment where people can speak freely without fear of judgment, relate to others in similar situations and understand more about interacting with loved ones who are misusing alcohol.

“It’s a way to learn to live with the disease,” Green said. “(Members) learn to set some boundaries. Boundaries are not to keep people out. Boundaries are so that we can protect those relationships and keep them healthy.”

You can find information about Al-Anon meetings in metro Grand Rapids at