Tag Archive: addiction risk

  1. Growing Up in an Alcoholic Family

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    teen boy

    Kids who grow up in alcoholic families are more likely than the rest to become alcoholics themselves. This, we’ve known for some time. It’s not always due to dysfunctional home life, either. Sometimes it’s genetic; even the most loving, caring parents may struggle to keep their children from repeating their fate. More often than not, it’s a combination of problematic home elements and genetics. The best thing you can do as a parent is open up as many lines of communication as possible, with your child and with the rest of the family.

    Characteristics of an Alcoholic Family

    Generally, a child born in an alcoholic family is, indeed, aware of the split personalities the alcoholic exhibits. The non-drinking side, they often revere as a source of comfort and affection; the other, they often fear, or even hate. Family or origin issues and alcoholism are connected.

    When recovering moms and dads go through their ups and downs, so does the family: from a drunken family unit to a sober one. On the outside, they often appear similar. Intrinsically, a shift is apparent, and the child can usually feel it.

    Increased Risk for Alcoholism

    30 million of all active alcoholics in the US are born of alcoholic families; their odds are 3 to 4 times higher than the rest. The root of alcoholism, it seems, lies in suppressed emotions, which may or not have to do with a problematic upbringing. It is widely believed that the alcohol-seeking behavior, although physiologically addictive, is a learned behavior, an unhealthy coping skill used to alleviate the real unifying issue: suppressed emotions and anxieties.  

    Common Traits of Adult Children of Alcoholics

    At its base, alcoholism is caused by fear: fear of facing the world in all its clear, sober reality. Fear branches out into a number of aspects in our lives—intimacy, change, love, determination. When we can’t pursue these natural emotional pursuits the right way, we misstep, and that’s where typical “alcoholic behavior” comes in: aggression, manipulation, indifference, or even cruelty. Once children adopt these habits, you have to undo them quickly, because once they grow up, they might assume that those traits have become their identity. At that point, you need stern behavioral intervention. Therapy works to address and correct those issues, to make the person understand that their negative emotions aren’t correct, necessary, conducive; that they can change and feel better, and for good reason.

     

    If you are struggling with a family history of alcohol or substance abuse and need support, call us. We are here to help you find your way back to a healthy lifestyle away from the shadows of substance abuse.

I first met Sayeh in November of 2013 just after my 15 year old daughter had been admitted to a residential treatment program. As part of the program I was required to attend 2-3 AlAnon meetings a week. Sayeh attended the same AlAnon meetings as well as Alumni events as I. It soon became apparent to me that Sayeh had a heart for recovery, program, and God. When I was encouraged to get a sponsor I didn’t hesitate. Dependable, respectful, kind and generous of spirit, she exudes an inner peace that I hope to achieve with her loving guidance, as I work my own program. She is patient, & full of wisdom that she is always happy to share with her sponsees and fellow parents. I am so grateful our journeys brought us together.

Megan
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