By Helen Varvi, Deputy Director
COA (Children of Addiction, formerly Children of Alcoholics) Awareness Week is recognized each year world-wide during the week in which Valentine's Day occurs. It is an opportunity for schools, agencies and communities to recognize the challenges that children and teens impacted by a family member's struggle with addiction.The message is one of hope, because with the right type of intervention and support, children can learn to live without stigma and shame, and deliver the resilience skills necessary to not just survive, but to thrive.It is an opportunity to break the silence and reduce the stigma felt by those vulnerable youth living with parental or family addiction.
With addiction recognized as a national health crisis, many communities are dealing with the impact on families, the increasing number of overdoses and the struggle to address the issue of treatment and recovery services.But the impact of this crisis on our children is enormous.Social service providers are seeing the impact on their growing caseloads due to parental addiction and the impact on grandparents and other family members who step in to help support and in some cases raise these innocent victims of addiction.This campaign also provides information and resources to adults who may be working with children who are feeling alone and do not realize that for them healing is possible.Help make a difference that could last a lifetime.
COA Awareness Week is also an opportunity to celebrate the recovery of thousands of children supported by caring adults.Visit our website or go to NACoA.org for more information.