Living With An Addict

How it affects children and teens today.

Why is this an issue?

For a while now, children of addicts feel alone when faced with this challenge. The trauma stays with them they're whole life. Children feel embarrassed and seem to feel like they're the only one this happens to. Having a parent who is not "there" all the time puts a huge a amount of stress and separation between family members. Especially a parent and child relationship. Children with parents of addicts often develop anxiety, depression, and develop unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with their issues.

What have I learned to help address this issue?

I've learned how important communication is. Between any two people but especially with your family. The only way to get your opinion out there is to tell people how you feel. It's also very important to be able to overcome these issues and cope in a healthy way. These relationships during your childhood affect you for the rest of your life.

"When adults behave as if there is no elephant, the child experiences a distorted reality."

"The elephant in the room" is a good way to describe the denial other adults have when living with an addict. As a child, they notice it. So when adults don't say anything they become confused.

Where could I go for help or advice on living with an addict in Nebraska?

S.A.F.E. Center - Kearney

CASA - Douglas County

How this could be prevented?

Don't be scared to communicate with your children or your parents. Try to understand what they're going through. Think about counseling as a family.