Tuesday, September 18, 2012

COAs Face Increased Addiction Risk and other Health Problems


Here are some interesting excerpts from a recent article about Adult Children Of Alcoholics published on 

No matter how many time I see facts like these it always surprises me;

Mood disorders like depression, anxiety and conduct disorder (a chronic behavioral problem characterized by rule breaking, truancy, drug use and criminal activity) are more common among COAs. 

Conduct disorder, if left untreated, is associated with adult antisocial personality disorder, a pattern of often criminal behavior characterized by a disregard for the emotions and rights of others.  

"If you don't as a child learn that ability to develop relationships and develop trust and feel safe, then I think that's something that's going to affect you your entire life." - Dr. Mackenzie Varkula, child and teen psychiatrist at the Cleveland Clinic's Fairview Hospital 

In studies of COAs who were adopted by nonalcoholic families, the COAs still had an increased risk of becoming alcoholics as adults compared with the general population, arguing for both a genetic and environmental cause. 

As adults, COAs are more likely than children raised without alcoholism in their families to marry an alcoholic or someone from a similar background, according to the National Association for Children of Alcoholics.

That's why raising awareness of these problems, and early intervention for at-risk kids and their families is so important. Without it, the alcoholic family perpetuates itself says Madeline Martin, Clinical Supervisor at Glenbeigh ACMC Healthcare system. Martin says it's almost uncanny, this ability to "find someone like their addicted parent in a crowded room, at a glance." 

A loving, supportive adult (a sober parent, grandparent or family friend, for example) who forms a positive bond with a child and helps that child develop coping skills can go a long way toward counteracting the negative effects of alcoholism in a family, say treatment experts.

Read the article here:

Check out the Orange County ACA website at: Orange County Adult Children