Workshop: Prevention for Children of Addicted Parents, A Social Justice Imperative

August 17, 2022 | 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific
$225 Registration
Early Registration $200 (through July 17th)
The live professional training program is presented by Wendy Wade, PhD.
This program will discuss the chronic stress and trauma experienced by children of parents with addiction. These children's needs are seldom recognized and they rarely receive the help and healing they deserve. Prevention can be more possible by also recognizing and developing strengths and resiliencies. The program will cover developing support groups and include two activities from NACoA's Children Program Kit.
Early intervention for children of parental substance and behavioral addiction is a critical social justice and advocacy priority (Suomi). Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)s are traumatic childhood experiences causing lasting negative effects throughout life (Anda). The brain architecture of traumatized children is affected, potentially causing earlier onset of children’s own substance use, faster acceleration in use patterns, and a higher rate of substance use disorders (Solis et. al.). Other potential effects can include emotional, social, behavioral, and attachment adjustment problems, as well as challenged cognitive and academic functioning. COVID-19 has exacerbated these factors in many families. With appropriate intervention, children can experience trusting interactions, share various difficult emotions, and develop healthy coping skills which may well prevent their own use. Two group activities detailed in the Children’s Program Kit from the National Association of Children of Addiction (NACoA) will be demonstrated. These and other targeted interventions have only been available to a fraction of children and families in need. Disproportionate access exists by families affected by poverty, parental incarceration, and all forms of discrimination (Gifford). The stigma of addiction, family rules about not talking outside the home, and children’s fear of not being believed make identification and intervention difficult. These children need a safe, predictable place to call their own with trauma-informed adults trained to recognize, support, and develop their resilience (Walker & Lee). There is hope, which depends on acceptance and understanding of the reality and depth of children’s needs along with their many strengths and resiliencies (Park & Schepp.).