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Talking to Your Children About Alcohol

young man speaks with counselor about addiction recovery

If you have experienced alcohol addiction, whether personally or in witnessing the struggles of a loved one, you know how damaging alcohol can be to a person’s health and overall well-being.  If you have young children, you may worry for their first encounters with alcohol as well as their lifelong relationship with a substance that is so prevalent in our culture. While most schools heavily endorse saying no to drugs, most of those campaigns don’t directly recognize alcohol as a drug nor do they address the unique dangers of alcohol use.  Unlike illegal drugs, talking to your children about alcohol means warning them about an activity they likely see many people that they love and admire take part in every day. It is important to first establish with your child that alcohol is, in fact, a very addictive substance.  Explain to them that many factors and historical influences have led to alcohol being legally and socially acceptable, but that doesn’t mean it is not still a very dangerous drug.  It is likely that your child will know at least one individual that has had a drinking problem, and they may also know a few that successfully drink in moderation. Explain to your child that anyone can become addicted to alcohol, and some people are born with the inclination to become addicted even faster than others.  This may apply them if they are related to someone with an alcohol addiction. If your child is a teenager, it may be appropriate to discuss the dangers of drinking in social situations.  Teens who drink are far more likely to experience sexual assault or to get in the car with a drunk driver. No matter when you choose to speak to your child about alcohol, they will listen if they feel it is coming from a place of honesty and compassion.  If you are struggling with alcohol addiction yourself, let them know that you want nothing more than for them to be free of the pain alcohol has brought you. If you are a parent and considering seeking treatment for your alcohol addiction, it is important to talk to your children about your choice to seek help.    

At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  The Arbor uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690.