Adult Children of Alcoholics or Substance Abusers
Perhaps the first and most significant thing to tell any children of alcoholics (COA) or children of substance abusers (COSA) who may be reading this page is that on this campus, you are not alone. Fact is you are part of a very sizeable group, albeit one that does not advertise or otherwise draw attention to itself. An article In the January 2000 issue of the American Journal of Public Health concludes that presently 25% of children are exposed to alcohol dependence or abuse in their immediate family before they reach the age of eighteen. If you grew up in such an environment you are not alone.
You may also be faced with many of the difficulties that many in these groups encounter
as they mature from children into adults. A good many difficulties such as an exaggerated
drive for perfection, difficulty in trusting others, anxiety, guilt, confrontation
avoidance and depression are shared by COAs and COSAs. The problems often arise when
adaptations you may have developed during your earlier years no longer have a purpose
and may even start to work against you. But there is little need to rewrite the book
on these issues when there is already a great site to devoted to this subject. So
if you want to explore this subject and the available help and support visit the Children of Alcoholics Foundation web site.