1 in 3 Children Live with Addiction
● By Rick McGarry
Children of alcoholics are four times more likely to develop an addiction or
compulsive disorder.(Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration)
But a recovering addict whose children attended a local day camp for
children of addicts feels like his children have a better chance for a good
life because of the program. "The program reinforced that my addiction is
not their fault and gave them tools to maintain a healthier lifestyle."
The Children's Program at Brighton Hospital is a day camp lasting four days
followed by on-going support including a book-of-the-month club and
newsletters. This free program is designed to break the multi-generational
cycle of addiction. This program is for children age 7-12 who have a family
member with an alcohol or drug problem or who is active in recovery.
Children learn about the disease of addiction in age appropriate ways while
meeting other children who are in a similar situation. They learn coping
skills, problem solving tools, and self-care strategies.
Here’s a comment from a child of twelve who went through the program. "This
program helped me to let out my feelings. I looked at what I had done in
the past when I was keeping things bottled up and I realized that it really
hurt me. I will never forget this experience.”
A therapist at Livingston County Community Mental Health who referred her
client says, "My client thought this was the absolute, greatest program. She
had a lot of fun; she learned a lot and she now knows she is not the
problem. It was a big turnaround for her and her mother. I see strength in
her now and higher self esteem.”
There are classes scheduled January 17-20, February 21-24, March 14-17, and throughout the year. Parents and caregivers participate with children on the last two days of the program.
One parent who participated reports, "The program has given my girls a
better understanding of addiction and how to let out their feelings related
to it. It was helpful for me to have happier children with a better
understanding of what has been happening with their dad. I thought the
entire program was incredible! It was exactly what my children needed."
If you want more information about this free program that is open to the
community please call Pat Schafer, LMSW at (810) 220-1807.