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Alcoholism Affecting Children and Families

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  1. AlcoholismAffecting Children and Families Student Created


  3. Alcoholism • Alcoholism is defined as “a diseased condition due to the excessive use of alcoholic beverages”

  4. Alcohol in the Fetus • When a woman is pregnant and an alcoholic, it may affect the child even before it is born. • The alcohol is carried to all the mother’s organs and tissues and her placenta. • When a pregnant woman drinks, the blood alcohol level of the baby is the same as hers.

  5. Fetal Alcohol Syndrom (FAS) • A pregnant woman who drinks during pregnancy can give birth to a baby with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). This is one of the three leading causes of birth defects. • The more a woman drinks during pregnancy, the more severe the symptoms of FAS. • Babies born with FAS are shorter and more underweight than normal babies, deformities of the brain and skull, damages to the central nervous system, lack of social skills, severe anger and frustration and are hyperactive. • They have difficulties in learning, attention span, judgment, memory, problem-solving and general behavior skills. • They also have differences in facial features, such as small eye openings, thin lips, and long faces.

  6. Parental Alcoholism on Children • Children with alcoholic parents often feel lonely, low self-esteem, guilt, helplessness, fears of abandonment and chronic depression. • They may feel responsible for the problems of the alcoholic or feel that they created the problem. • They often experience high levels of stress and tension. • They may have frequent nightmares or severe bed wetting. • They are more likely of developing phobias. • They are much more likely to develop very low self images and therefore resemble their parents in their minds. • They tend to do poorly in school because of their inability to focus on studying. • They often feel guilty for not being able to stop their parents problems.

  7. Crime and Violence • Incest and battery are common within alcoholic families. Almost 30% of father-daughter incest cases and 75% of domestic violence cases happen within families of alcoholics. • They often feel guilty and turn to drinking themselves to escape the pain.

  8. Risks and Tendencies of COA’s • COA’s are 4 times more likely than non-COA’s to develop alcoholism • Almost 1/3 of alcoholics had a parent who was an alcoholic • Genetics do play a major role • Parental alcoholism have an impact on a child’s early learning about alcohol • COA’s are more likely to marry into a family where alcoholism is prevalant

  9. Percentages • Almost 1 in 5 Americans lived with an alcoholic adult while growing up • About 43% of American adults were exposed to alcoholism in the family as children • About 1 in 8 adult drinkers in America is an alcoholic • There are about 26.8 children of alcoholics in the U.S.

  10. COA’s may benefit from adults who help them… • Develop independence • Develop social skills and strong social orientation • Engage in acts which require them to help • Develop close bonds with a care-giver • Gain other people’s positive attention • Cope with emotionally stressful experiences stressfully • Perceive their experiences constructively • Develop day-to-day coping strategies


  12. Alateen • Alateen is a part of Al-Anon • Helps teens recover from the effects of living with problem drinking • Based upon the Twelve Steps and Alateen’s Twelve Traditions • Shares experiences, stregths, and hopes with each other • Discusses difficulties • Encourages each other

  13. Twelve Steps • 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable. • 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. • 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. • 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. • 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. • 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. • 7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. • 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. • 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. • 10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. • 11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. • 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

  14. Twelve Traditions • 0ur common welfare should come first; personal progress for the greatest number depends upon unity. • For our group purpose there is but one authority - a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern. • The only requirement for membership is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend. The teenage relatives of alcoholics when gathered together for mutual aid, may call themselves an Alateen Group provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation. • Each group should be autonomous, except in matters affecting other Alateen and Al-Anon Family Groups or AA as a whole. • Each Alateen Group has but one purpose: to help other teenagers of alcoholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps of AA ourselves and by encouraging and understanding the members of our immediate families. • Alateens, being part of Al-Anon Family Groups, ought never endorse, finance or lend our name to any outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary spiritual aim. Although a separate entity, we should always cooperate with Alcoholics Anonymous. • Every group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions. • Alateen Twelfth-Step work should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers. • Our groups, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve. • The Alateen Groups have no opinion on outside issues; hence our name ought never be drawn into public controversy. • Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, TV and films. We need guard with special care the anonymity of all AA members. • Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles above personalities

  15. National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA) • Founded in California in 1983 • Mission is “to advocate for all children and families affected by alcoholism and other drug dependencies” • The founders believed that within a group like this, core problems and solutions could be identified • Their four main goals are to 1) offer information, advice and support to children of alcohol dependent parents; 2) to reach professionals who deal with these children in their every day work; 3) to raise the profile of children of alcohol dependent parents in the public consciousness; 4) to promote research into the particular problems faced by those who grow up with parental alcoholism and the prevention of alcoholism developing in this vulnerable group of children

  16. Statistics • 100,000 Americans die of alcohol each year. • During their lifetime 27% of the population will suffer from a substance abuse disorder. • 25% of Americans die of substance abuse. • 95% percent of untreated addicts die of their addiction. • 50% of traffic deaths are alcohol related. • 50% of homicides are alcohol related. • 40% of assaults are alcohol related. • About half of state prison inmates and 40% of federal prisoners incarcerated for committing violent crimes report they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of their offence. • More than 18 million patients currently need alcohol treatment and only 25% get it. • Costs of alcohol abuse was $185 billion in 1998 • For every dollar spent on addiction treatment seven dollars are saved in costs to society. • Addiction must be taken seriously because 25% of Americans die as a result of substance abuse. The average alcoholic dies twenty-six years earlier than he or she would otherwise.

  17. Resources • Alateen • Alanon • NACoA • National Clearinghouse on Alcohol and Drug Information • National Children of Alcoholics Week

  18. “The people hurt most by drugs and alcohol don’t even use them; they are the children of alcoholics and other drug dependent parents.” -NACoA

  19. Bibliography • • • • • • •