It’s COA Awareness Week!
This week is COA Awareness Week, an international and national awareness campaign designed by the National Association for Children of Addiction (NACoA) to help break the silence and offer hope and guidance to kids and teens impacted by a parent struggling with addiction. This year’s theme: “Celebrating Hope and Healing for a Lifetime.”
One in four children lives in a family impacted by parental addiction – and these numbers are only likely to grow as addiction continues to be a national health epidemic and our country experiences a staggering number of overdose deaths. “The time is more important than ever to bring these children hope, support, and ultimately healing,” NACoA, writes on its site. And it only takes “one caring and understanding adult to change a child’s life.”
Along these lines, as part of COA, the organization hopes to help educate kids and adults and break the silence so children at risk can become “children of promise.” Here are a few of the messages that you can help spread as part of this week-long awareness campaign:
Addiction is a disease. If your parent suffers from a substance use disorder, he or she is not a bad person but someone struggling with a disease that makes him or her lose control (do and say mean or stupid things that you normally wouldn’t, for instance) when drinking or using other drugs.
You can’t control your parent’s drinking. NACoA explains that children and teens need to know is that it is NOT their fault and that there’s nothing children can do or say (or not do or say) that will change what a parent who suffers from addiction thinks, feels, says or does. This is an important message and is part of what’s known as the seven Cs:
- I didn’t cause it
- I can’t control it
- I can’t cure it, but
- I can help take care of myself
- by communicating my feelings
- Making healthy choices and
- Celebrating me
You’re not alone. Roughly one out of four children in the U.S. is living with alcoholic parents. What’s more, it’s okay to talk about the problem with someone you trust or a “safe person.” This could be a teacher, a friend’s parent, a big brother or sister, or someone else who will listen to you.
Help for Alcohol Use Disorder
As a parent, the best thing you can do for your child is get the help you need. At Seabrook, we offer a safe and supportive environment for you or someone you love to begin the journey toward lasting sobriety. To learn more about our alcohol rehab services, contact us today: 800-761-7575.