Parents are generally thought of as caregivers for their children but, like in Haley’s story, many children end up caring for their parents when their parent becomes sick.
Many people look down on alcoholics as being unfit and irresponsible parents. Many parents lose their children to Child Services for having addictions. Child welfare is extremely important. However, it is also important to try to help the person suffering from addiction, to recognize that addiction is not a choice, and to work to connect the family with resources.
Addiction is not just a medical condition; it’s a disability. While alcoholism was once thought of as a character flaw, there has been a societal shift recently that now views drug addiction as a disease. There is consequently a wide variety of different treatment facilities and programs available to people suffering from addiction nowadays.
Like Haley said, at the end of the day addiction is not about you; it’s about the person suffering from the disease. You can lead a horse to water but good luck getting him to commit to a twelve-step program. People need to want to help themselves before they can get better.
There is a lot of overlap between addiction and depression and other mental illnesses. People who abuse substances have an increased risk of depression and vice versa. This makes treatment particularly difficult in some cases. Addiction is one of the hardest things to treat.
The good news is that there is a growing amount of research and resources being funneled towards fighting substance abuse. The information below is a good starting point for your research. Check some of the organizations below if you want a sense of what is out there in terms of literature and therapy.
Alcoholics anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem.
Al-Anon Family Groups
AL- ANON gives the opportunity for friends and family members of problem drinkers to share their experience and teaches them how to apply principles of the Al-Anon program based on their crisis/situation. They offer strength and hope for friends and families of problem drinkers.
Narcotics Anonymous is a community- based organization which offers recovery from the effects of addiction through a twelve-step program. They also provide an ongoing support network for addicts who wants a drug-free lifestyle.
Centre For Addiction and Mental Health
CAMH is Canada’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, and is also one of the world’s leading research centres in its field. They offer clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues.
Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phones provides emotional support for kids and teenagers.
Freedom From Addiction
Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Home- addiction rehabilitation
They are one of Canada’s leading alcohol and drug addiction recovery homes. They offer effective de-addiction programs and services for youth, adults, families and employers.