Help for Adult Children of Addiction

March 18, 2008

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Adults who grew up in a home with alcoholism or drug addiction should realize the importance of seeking help for themselves. Regardless of whether the parent still suffers from addiction or is even in the child’s life, this situation can cause lifelong pain. Living in a dysfunctional family, instability, anger, feelings of abandonment, repressed emotions, and many other issues need to be worked through.

This type of addiction assistance can take a variety of forms. Some type of counseling is often needed to work through the issues of a dysfunctional family caused by alcohol and drug addiction. Psychologists, therapists, social workers, and addiction treatment professionals may be able to help.

Support groups can be helpful in finding other people to identify with who have been through similar experiences. Some of the most common support groups that may be helpful are Al-Anon, Alateen, Nar-Anon, and Co-Dependents Anonymous, which are all twelve-step groups. Organizations more specifically geared toward people who grew up with addiction are the National Association for Children of Alcoholics and the twelve-step group Adult Children of Alcoholics.

These individuals deal with alcohol and drugs in their adult lives in different ways. Some of them stay far away after seeing what addiction did to their family, but some are compelled to repeat what they saw their parents doing. Either way, it’s likely that adult children of alcoholics have a genetic tendency toward developing their own addiction problems. They should learn to recognize the first signs of alcoholism, drug abuse, and other types of addiction in themselves and their spouses. This way, they may be able to get involved in a treatment program quickly if they notice themselves repeating the pattern. Not doing so will only hurt the next generation. For those who are already suffering from alcoholism or drug abuse, rehab facilities are available to help.

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