“It’s not cool that your son is an addict, but what is cool that he’s in recovery”
These are the words Bob spoke into a microphone as he began his speech in honor of celebrating being 11 years sober. After sharing his testimony, he embraced his son, who was also celebrating a sobriety milestone of four years!
Bob and his son aren’t the only ones who have faced the challenges of addiction alongside a family member. In a study published by researcher Kathleen Merikangas, she concluded that children with one or both parents with substance use disorder are eight times more likely to develop an addiction. This phenomenon is intergenerational substance use disorder and can be caused by a few different factors, such as:
- Genetic predisposition: Studies have shown that specific genes may increase the risk of addiction.
- Environmental factors: Children who grow up in households where addiction is present may be exposed to certain behaviors and situations involving drugs and alcohol. These environments introduce and normalize substance use.
- Intergenerational trauma: Trauma experienced by one generation can be passed down to the next, and addiction can be used to cope with that trauma.
It’s important to note that addiction is a complex disorder; not everyone with a family history will develop one themselves. However, there are resources available to help those struggling with substance abuse. Healing House offers individuals a chance to get their life back and potentially inspire others in their family and community to get sober too! Our individualized treatment plans include services like group therapy, recovery counseling, recovery coaching, and employment coaching.
Bob put himself and his sobriety first so that he could become a role model for his son. Together, they are breaking the generational cycle of addiction. They both celebrate annual sobriety milestones and share their story with others! If you or a family member are struggling with addiction, apply today. It all starts with one family member getting sober. Could it be you?