How to Help a Child with a Parent Who Is Struggling with Addiction

The following article is a guest post by Sarah Lockwood of the ThePreventionCoalition.org. Photo via Pixabay


It’s estimated that 25% of children are exposed to some type of addiction or substance abuse in the home. Children of people struggling with substance abuse are often overlooked when it comes to helping those with addiction. It’s good news if the parent is pursuing recovery, but we can’t forget to care for the children during this difficult time, too.

1. Don’t Burden Them With a Secret

Naturally, this situation calls for a certain level of privacy and it’s important your child knows not to loudly advertise it at school. However, make family and close friends aware of what’s going on.

This is vital in case of an emergency: if your child finds your spouse in need of medical attention, he shouldn’t have to worry about “letting the truth slip” and instead be able to focus on getting help. Further, if he’s feeling lost or confused about what’s going on, it’s good to have an outlet outside the home where he feels safe to talk about it.

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