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


adult psychology said...

many children now a days are using drugs,maybe the parents have a luck a guidance and should be well guided and parents should spend time to talk with their kids..

Lisa Romano said...

I am in total agreement. Children are precious, and they must be a caretakers top priority. However, caretakers must do all they can to ensure that they themselves are as healthy and emotionally healed as possible, so that they can ensure they are instilling their children with as much authentic love as possible.

If a child does not believe they are worthy of love, that psychic wound will follow them all of their days...

Anonymous said...

Yea this has always been true. I have been in ACA for 22 years. I find it sad that ACA is still not very well attended and the hope the 12 steps provide are not in greater abundance. The culture is sick and provides many stimulating(and generally addicting) alternatives to going into recovery. It is the only answer that every worked for me as "shared pain is 1/2 pain and shared joy is double joy".