Addiction Programs and Help for Children of Addicts

Addiction Programs and Help for Children of Addicts

Helpful addiction programs are available for children of addicts to learn to deal with the emotions that surround them when living with an addicted parent.

Parents are required to provide their children with at least the basic commodities to grow up in good overall health. Unfortunately, when they have a parent who is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, they end up missing out on these essential needs. The longer the parent’s struggle with addiction, the harder it becomes for a child to make it through this process.

They are forced to stumble through an unfortunate serious of events that can be debilitating to their well-being. A parent’s role is to shield children from places or things considered harmful. When addiction is involved, the opposite is frequently the end result. Be their voice when they are silenced by what goes on behind closed doors.

Talk to the Child

If you suspect a child is dealing with a parent fighting addiction, it is a good idea to try to have them open up to you. A few tips to follow:

  • Converse in a calm environment, with no distractions. The attention span of a child is limited, however, the child of an addict is more likely to be hyper-active due to the lack of discipline and unpredictable behavior occurring in the home.

  • Be honest. Trust is hindered with children of addicts so they often struggle with identifying and expressing their feelings. In order to continue to build a relationship with this child, they must gain a sense of confidence in what you are saying. They have been forced to fend for themselves in life, they need reassurance that you are someone who cares about their well-being.

  • Remain age appropriate.  Keep it simple so they understand the nature of the dialogue.

  • Let them know that you are here to help. Reassure them that you care and only want life to get better for them. These children have often dealt with circumstances in their young age that would shatter adults.

  • Educate yourself on the nature of addiction. This is a sensitive subject that must be approached with both humility and confidence. If you do not know the answer, demonstrate your conviction to this child and let them know that you will work as a team to figure it out.

  • Be empathetic. Let them know that you admire their relentless courage and most importantly, they are loved. More specifically, you love and care about them along with all of the other adults that are there to help.

  • Encourage them to discuss their feelings and let them know that they are NOT TO BLAME for their parent’s addiction. Children of addicts carry a lot of guilt and shame.

Allow these kids to vision a life beyond the demographics to which they were born. As their world changes while their parents are forced to confront their addiction, be their safe haven. Build a healthy environment that stimulates growth, collaboration is key.

Go above and beyond. Take the next step to make it right for them.

Addiction Programs, Help and Counseling

Religious leaders, local law enforcement, child Protective Services, your local NA/AA, teachers, babysitters, athletic coaches, school counselors, or a family therapist are all great resources to pursue. Set up necessary appointments for the child.  Get them started in good addiction programs for kids. Again, building a rapport and developing trust is crucial for anyone that is involved in this process.

Groups are often effective outlet for both children and teens. It is nearly impossible to understand a pain you have never felt. One may be more responsive to others dealing with similar situations.  Group counseling and addition programs encourages the following:

  • Acts as a support network and sounding board.
  • Enables children to form bonds in a structured environment
  • Talking and listening to others helps put individual problems into perspective.
  • Helps children understand that they are not the one with a problem.
  • Experiences of hope and change can also be touched on.
  • Gain knowledge on coping advice and other various forms of encouragement.
  • Learn to develop effective communication skills
  • Diversity of the group opens up a wide range of strategies for coping

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline does more than handle suicide. It is a secure service that will assist anyone coping with family issues, substance abuse included. It is confidential and will ensure that the child has another positive outlet they can turn to in addition to the scheduled addiction programs. That number is (800) 273-8255.

Don’t Ignore the Problem

Don’t let our children suffer in silence. Gather as a community to position them for success in this battle that is not their own. Children are rewards from the Lord and should be constantly placed in an environment that sets them up to succeed. Addiction takes a physical and emotional toll on children. The sooner the problem is addressed, the sooner the healing process can begin. The more support the child has through addiction programs, the less likely they are to fall victim to this family disease. While you may grapple with separating a child from their parents temporarily, it will likely end up saving them from a lifelong path of destruction in the long run. Stop this vicious cycle of abuse! Early intervention, support and quality addiction programs are key when dealing with children of addicted parents.

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