All my choices have consequesces.
All my choices have consequesces.
NACoA is grateful to Jerry Moe, National Director of Children's Programs at Betty Ford Center, for providing the inspirational phrases for the Motivational Calendar.
Alcoholism is a disease. People who have the disease have lost control over their drinking and are not able to stop without help. They also lose control over how they act when they are drunk.
Doctors don't know all the reasons why people become alcoholics. Some start out drinking a little bit and end up hooked on alcohol. A person might drink to forget problems or to calm nerves, but then they end up needing alcohol to feel normal. Once a person loses control over drinking, he or she needs help to stop drinking.
At first, the alcoholic is not aware that he or she is ill. Even when the alcoholic becomes aware that something is wrong, he or she may not believe that alcohol is the problem. An alcoholic might keep blaming things on other people, or might blame their job, or the house, or whatever. But, really, it's the alcohol that's the biggest problem.
No. There is no such person as the average alcoholic. Alcoholics can be young, old, rich, poor, male, female, and any race or religion.
There is no cure for alcoholism except stopping the disease process by stopping the drinking. People with alcoholism who have completely stopped drinking are called "recovering alcoholics". Recovering alcoholics can lead healthy, happy, productive lives.
No. It is important to know that an alcoholic needs help to stop drinking, but no one can be forced to accept the help, no matter how hard you try or what you do. It is also important to know that family members by themselves cannot provide the help that an alcoholic needs. An alcoholic needs the help of people trained to treat the disease.
About eleven million children in our country are growing up with at least one alcoholic parent. There are probably a few in your class right now. And remember, some adults grew up with alcoholic parents too.
Talk to someone you trust about the problem. Talk to a teacher, a Scout leader, a coach, a school counselor. Also, there is a group for kids who have alcoholic parents called "Alateen." It has meetings, like a club, and the kids share tips on how to make life easier. You can look for the phone number of Alateen in the phone book or call directory assistance for the number of Alateen. Someone at Al-Anon or the Alcoholics Anonymous answer line can probably tell you how to find the meetings too. Ask at school if there are any Alateen groups or school-sponsored support groups. http://al-anon.alateen.org/for-alateen
Your parent is not a bad person; he or she has a disease that makes him or her lose control when drinking. Alcohol does that; when you drink too much, you do and say things that you normally wouldn't. Maybe the disease makes them do mean or stupid things that they would not do if they didn't drink.
It is not your fault. Don't hide the bottle or try to be perfect; you can't do anything about your parent's drinking. You are not the reason why your parent drinks. You did not cause the disease.
There are lots of kids just like you. I'll bet there are some in your class at schoolkids you would never think of might have a parent who drinks like yours. Maybe you know some of them because you've seen what goes on in their house. In fact, from all the surveys done in the United States, we know that there are about eleven million children with alcoholic parents living in our country. You really aren't alone.
Find someone you trust who will talk to you. It could be a teacher, a friend's parent, a big brother or sister, or someone else who will listen to you. At school it might be a counselor, nurse, teacher, or coach. These are the 'safe people' in your life. Complete the worksheet "People Who Can Help Me". Just keep this list with you so that you can call someone if you feel like talking. We also have a list of phone numbers here that you can call if you need someone to talk to or for help of any kind. The phone numbers are on a card that you can keep in your bookbag or other safe place. These numbers are on the same page as your personal list "People Who Can Help Me." All of the numbers are free; just dial 1-800- and then the number. Also, there is a group for kids called "Alateen". This group has meetings, like a club, and the kids there share tips on how to make their lives easier. Some schools have Alateen meetings on the school grounds during the day or after school. Maybe your teacher could help you find one. Or, you could look for the phone number of Alateen in the phone book or call directory assistance and ask for the number. (Sometimes you need to call Al-Anon or Alcoholics Anonymous to find Alateen meetings in your area.) Maybe a grown up you can trust will help you get to a meeting if transportation is a problem for you. You can get more information by calling 888-425-2666 (888-4AL-ANON), 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., ET, Monday – Friday, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit their website by clicking here.
|JANUARY||Your job is to be a responsible kid and to have fun.||All around the world children like you celebrate the coming of the New Year|
|FEBRUARY||I know I can't make my parent stop drinking or using drugs, so what can I do to make myself feel better?||Remember there are lots of kids like you, and you are very special.|
|MARCH||Alcoholism is a disease.||The brain is responsible for your thoughts and feelings.|
|APRIL||It feels so bad... but it doesn't have to.||What can kids do?|
|MAY||Think prevention and good mental health.||Use these activities to help you on the road to good mental health.|
|JUNE||Make the most of your Summer!||An important part of being a kid is to have fun. Enjoy these Summer activities.|
|JULY||All feelings are okay.||Feelings can be overwhelming, and at time we feel as if we are juggling our emotions.|
|AUGUST||I know I can't make my parent stop drinking or using drugs, but can I solve some of my problems?||Problem solving can at times feel like a maze. Take your time and Stop, Think it through, weigh your Outcome options, and Pick your course|
|SEPTEMBER||You can ask for help from safe people.||What makes a "Safe Person?"|
|OCTOBER||How do I make myself feel better when I feel bad?||Growing up with parents who drink too much can be hard. But there are ways that you can make tough times easier.|
|NOVEMBER||How can I be grateful when I’m worried about my Mom or Dad.||What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?|
|DECEMBER||Remember your parent's drinking is not your fault.||Having a parent that drinks too much can make the holidays confusing and hard.|