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If both parents are addicts, does that increase the child’s chances of addiction?


 Children of Addicts


Q: If both parents are addicts, does that
increase the child’s chances of addiction?

A. There is a fifty-fifty chance.

The more alcoholics there are in a family, the higher the odds of passing along this addiction. In fact, when both parents have had substance abuse issues, the odds are 50/50 that their children will as well—should they decide to experiment with alcohol or drugs.

So what does that mean? In a case where both parents have a problem, with the odds at 50/50, will half of the kids become addicts? Not necessarily. This is an average. But it does mean the likelihood of becoming dependent is very high. Knowing this can help families recognize warning signs earlier rather than later. Depending on their maturity level, children and teenagers may decide to wait until early adulthood to begin experimentation (or, they may decide not to start at all).

Parents and other family members with such histories can consider how to help their children avoid developing a substance abuse problem. It is also a good idea for them to educate their children as to what is likely to happen if they are not on their guard. Knowing the dangers, facts, and warning signs of addiction is helpful, especially for those with a genetic predisposition. If we can get these kids to even delay trying drugs or alcohol, it will help to lessen their chances of falling into a life of dependency. Many research studies show that the later someone waits to start using, the less likely they are to become dependent.

Author/Chaplain Joe Herzanek

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> Phone Counseling for Family Members
Recommended Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
Low cost, No cost Alcohol and Drug Treatment Directory

> Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Recovery Resources for Friends, Families and Employers

If you found this article helpful please see our “Ask Joe” posts listed at the bottom and consider reading “Why Don’t they Just Quit? Hope for families struggling with addiction.”

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Why Don't They Just Quit? Hope for families struggling with addiction.
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Best book ever about addiction. Written by one whose done it and is recovering. Easy to read, not preachy, just honest. I recommend this book to anyone with an addict in their life! ~Lynda A

Got an addiction problem in your family? Read this book. Joe knows his stuff. This book helps you better understand those dealing with friends and family that are addicted to drugs and alcohol. I have read several of these books but this one is the best. ~RJ

I, like many people, have some knowledge of what drugs and addiction are, but are clueless on what the process of recovery entails. This book does a great job in what it would take to help a loved one, who is an addict and is willing to get clean and stay clean. It also gives one hope that your loved one will survive the nightmare they are living through with their family. ~CG

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> Do you have to stop seeing all your old friends in order to recover?
> Is a relapse—failure?
>Should my husband “back off?”
> If someone can stop using drugs or alcohol for weeks at a time, they “aren’t an addict—correct?
>Chronic Pain Management & Pain Pill Addiction: What to do?
>How can I know if my addicted friend or loved one is telling the truth?
>How can I tell if someone is an addict/alcoholic or just a heavy user?
>What is Methadone? What is Harm Reduction?

Recovery Resources for Friends, Families and Employers

> Self-Tests: Codependence

> Self-Tests: Alcohol and Drug Addiction

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