Secondhand Drinking Impacts on Children

Secondhand Drinking Impacts on Children

The impacts of secondhand drinking (drugging) on children can last a lifetime.

The impacts of secondhand drinking (drugging) on children can last a lifetime.

Unless you’ve been a child in a home with untreated, unhealthily discussed alcohol (or drug) misuse or addiction, it’s difficult to image what it’s like to be a child in such a home.

Devastating. Scary. Shame-filled. Life-robbing. Sadness. It’s a set-up for a “rest of your life” that NONE of us would ever wish on a child.

Secondhand Drinking Impacts on Children

I was moved to write this post after reading Alana Levinson’s recent article, “Surviving the Secret Childhood Trauma of a Parent’s Addiction.” Not only does she describe the impacts she experienced as a child whose dad was active in his disease of alcoholism, but she also brings in the research that sets forth what those impact can do. For as you’ll read, even after her father disappeared from her life at around age six; even while being raised by a loving, competent mother with a successful career; even after her dad got sober and wanted a relationship; even after she went to college, those impacts were still there. And it was this that turned the table for her:

“Two days before my boyfriend’s flight, I woke up feeling as if I couldn’t breathe, my body burning up, my head pounding. Stripping off my clothes, I lay in the fetal position on the floor, sobbing and gasping for breath, consumed by racing thoughts: I am going to fuck up my romantic relationship. I don’t deserve the kind of healthy love he provides. He will find out that I’m not the person he really wants, that I’m not normal, that I’m damaged and worthless.

“…That night, I decided that I had to call my boyfriend, not sure if I was going to ask for support or break it off. But right before I picked up the phone, I had a moment of clarity. I wasn’t going to push him away. I was going to accept his love. And, most importantly, I was finally going to confront the elephant.”

Alana Levinson isn’t / wasn’t alone. “Over 8.3 million children, nearly 12 percent of all children in the United States, live with an addict,” she writes in her article. And millions of those children never get the help they need to unravel the damage of secondhand drinking (drugging).

Ms. Levinson is a beautiful writer and tells an important story we all must read, so please check out her article, “Surviving the Secret Childhood Trauma of a Parent’s Addiction.”

Additional Articles on the Impacts of Secondhand Drinking on Children

© 2014 Lisa Frederiksen

 

Lisa Frederiksen

Lisa Frederiksen

Author | Speaker | Consultant | Founder at BreakingTheCycles.com
Lisa is the author of hundreds of articles and 11 books, including "If You Loved Me, You'd Stop!," "Addiction Recovery: What Helps, What Doesn't," and "Secondhand Drinking: the Phenomenon That Affects Millions." She is a national keynote speaker with over 25 years speaking experience, consultant, and founder of BreakingTheCycles.com. She has spent more than 14 years studying 21st century brain research in order to write, speak, and consult on substance use disorders prevention, intervention and treatment; mental disorders; addiction (aka substance use disorders) as a brain disease; adolescent addiction treatment vs adult addiction treatment; effective treatment for co-occurring disorders (having both a substance use and mental disorder); secondhand drinking | drugging; help for the family; and related subjects. In 2015, she founded SHD Prevention, providing training and consulting to companies, public agencies, unions, nonprofits and other entities to address the workplace impacts of employee secondhand drinking and alcohol misuse.

One Response to Secondhand Drinking Impacts on Children

  1. Lynne says:

    My heart goes to all children who have suffered seconhand drinking or are experiencing this right now. I hope there are places one can go to or people to talk to, to be able to overcome the trauma one gos through after this.

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