Resources for young people with alcoholic parents or loved ones or anyone who’s worried about or negatively affected by a loved one’s drinking
Young people coping with loved ones’ alcoholism and other addictions? You are in my heart, in my thoughts, in my prayers and you fuel my hope each and every day. You are the strongest, kindest people around and you inspire me. Hold tightly to hope and your dreams, and let them lead you, ya hear?
School yourself: Facts about alcoholism on the web
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: www.niaaa.nih.gov
- National Association for Children of Alcoholics: www.nacoa.org/kidspage.html. In the UK: www.nacoa.org.uk · UK Helpline: 0800 358 3456
- Nick produced this great documentary about how kids cope with their parents who are addicted to alcohol (High five, Nick and Linda Ellerbe for this story)
- Not sure if you’ve been affected by someone else’s drinking? Take this quiz and find out.
Meet other young people who are coping with this, too:
Children of Addicted Parents & People (COAP) online community
This UK-based non-profit organization has an online community for “young people living with a family member’s addiction to drugs, alcohol or behaviour such as gambling”: http://www.coap.org.uk. It’s 100% anonymous. “COAP provides online message boards for anyone aged between 7-30 years old to write about parental and family addiction. The trained Mentors and other online members have the chance to reply and offer support.” You can read stories from other people who are going through tough times or share your own stories.
www.al-anon.alateen.org · email@example.com
Alateen groups meet in community centers, churches, schools or other suitable places. It’s a safe place to go every week to relax and be yourself among friends who have alcoholic loved ones, too. There you can let your guard down, share about what’s happening in your life or just listen.
You can find a meeting near you by calling 1-888-4AL-ANON (1-888-425-2666) Monday-Friday, 8 am to 6 pm ET.
“Alateen is a mutual support group program for teenagers affected by a relative or friend’s drinking. Some groups will accept members between the ages of 10 to 12. It is part of the Al-Anon Family Groups® organization for family and friends of alcoholics. Alateen groups meet in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, and worldwide. Although a separate entity, the Al-Anon/Alateen program is adapted from the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Alateen members exchange their personal applications of the Al-Anon/Alateen program to their lives with each other without giving each other advice. Alateen meetings are facilitated by its members. However, adult Alateen Group Sponsors, who are experienced Al-Anon members, are present in an advisory and volunteer capacity. Whether or not the drinker is living or deceased, the only requirement for Alateen membership is for teens to have been or currently be concerned about another person’s drinking. There are no dues or fees for membership. No appointment or referral is necessary.” – From Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters
If you do not feel safe, please call this trusted organization and a professional counselor will help you.
ChildHelp USA Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-422-4453
“ChildHelp USA is dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. Serving the United States, its territories, and Canada, the Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors who, through interpreters, can provide assistance in 170 languages. The Hotline offers crisis intervention, information, literature, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are anonymous and confidential.” – From ChildHelp USA
Boys Town National HotlineSM: 1-800-448-3000
Boys Town has helped save children at risk for or who experienced physical and emotional abuse and healed families on the brink of collapse. Boys Town programs touch the lives of over two million people.
Thinking about hurting yourself? Please call this number. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK(8255). Live Chat is also available on their website.
Thinking about running away from home, have a friend who’s run away or are you a runaway thinking of returning home? Please call this number: National Runaway Switchboard: 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929)
- Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. Alateen: Hope for Children of Alcoholics, Virginia, 1980. This book explains alcoholism and shares inspiring stories from Alateen members.
- Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. Courage to Be Me: Living With Alcoholism, Virginia, 1996. This book is a collection of writings and drawings by Alateen members who have been affected by another person’s drinking.
- Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. Alateen—a day at a time. Virginia, 1983. This book shares a dose of inspiration written by Alateen members for every year of the year.
The most important resource of all
YOU! Your only responsibility in life is to take good care of yourself. If you do not feel safe, please tell a grownup you trust and reach out for help. You deserve safety and serenity.