Research shows that one in four young people lives in a family where a person abuses alcohol or suffers from alcoholism.
Children in these situations need to know they are not alone. Addiction to alcohol or drugs is a disease. When one member of the family has this disease, all family members are affected.
Children need to know it is not their fault. They didn’t cause the disease and they can’t make it stop. They need and deserve help for themselves.
It is critical to know that young people with addicted parents are four times more likely to become addicted if they choose to drink alcohol or use illegal drugs.
They need to keep firmly in mind that they can’t get addicted if they don’t drink or use drugs.
Children in these situations should talk with an adult — a teacher, school counselor, or school nurse, a friend’s parent, a doctor, grandparent, or neighbor — anyone who will listen and help them.
They can also ask a school counselor or social worker to recommend a support group.
These are great places to meet other young people struggling with the same problems at home.
Children should know it is important to find caring adults who can provide the guidance and support they need to stay healthy.
They will feel better and can have a safe and productive life. It’s in their power if they understand these facts and act.