We are mid-way through Children of Addiction Awareness Week. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a quarter of children in the U.S. grow up in households where there is substance abuse, and studies suggest these children are eight times more likely to develop an addiction themselves.
So how can you help?
- Be the one. Numerous studies have shown that one trusted, supportive, and stable adult can make a tremendous impact in the life of an at-risk child. See the study from Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child
- Educate yourself. What are some early warning signs of risky behavior? How do I recognize and respond to a cry for help? What resources are available? We have several local training opportunities which can help equip you.
- ACEs Training: This course totally changed the way I view addiction. ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) trauma can lead to chronic health concerns like substance abuse and mental health challenges. Gain a better understanding of what trauma is and how it affects our biology. It is well worth your time and is brought to you FREE by the Rappahannock Area Community Services. Training takes place in Fredericksburg and are typically held 4 times a year. Dates and details are posted on our UPCOMING EVENTS page.
- YOUTH Mental Health First Aid: This course teaches how to help youth who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem. You learn risk factors and warning signs, strategies for how to help, and where to turn for resources. Upcoming training dates and details are posted on our UPCOMING EVENTS page.
- Look for mentoring opportunities: There are lots of opportunities to mentor children in our community. Many of these organizations are not necessarily addressing addiction, but are providing positive experiences for our youth. Here are just a few:
- Girls On The Run: teaches life skills such as managing emotions, resolving conflict, helping others, and making intentional decisions. They are always in need of coaches and you don’t need to be runner! Contact 540-296-4687 or email@example.com
- CASA Court Appointed Special Advocates: volunteers advocate for the safety and well-being of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. They represent their best interests in courtrooms and other settings and help change their lives. There is an upcoming information session Feb 25, 2020 at 70 Main St, Warrenton, VA. RSVP required, call 703-330-8145 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- GEMS Girls Empowerment Mentoring Services: Provides a safe, creative & motivating space that allows female adolescents to thrive toward personal successes. By increasing self-esteem, it assists adolescents with making better choices, reducing risky behaviors. Meets every 2nd Wednesday 4-6 at Culpeper Baptist Church Contact: email@example.com
Helping a child whose parent is struggling with addiction
Children of Addiction Website
Sesame Street has created a new character, 6-year-old Karli, whose mom struggles with drug addiction. Watch Karli’s videos, access resources like coloring pages, music, and articles with topics like how to explain addiction to a child.
Camp Mariposa is a national addiction prevention and mentoring program for youth ages 9-12 who have been affected by the substance use disorder of a family member. Camp Mariposa is offered free of charge to all families. It is offered multiple times throughout the year, and the closest location is in West Virginia near the Southwest Virginia border.
Find more resources on our FAMILY SUPPORT page.