Santa Clara University

Wellness Center

Growing Up in an Alcoholic Family

According to a January 2000 research report from the NIAAA, one in every four college students grew up with with a parent who abused alcohol or other drugs.  That's millions of students across the country, and without a doubt some of them go to college with you.

If you grew up with parental substance abuse, the fact that you are attending college is an excellent sign that you already have many of the skills you need to succeed. Your job now is to build on these skills and reach out for support.  Here are some groups that can help you find more information.  

Al-Anon Family Groups
Support groups for families and friends of alcoholics
(800) 344-2666
(757) 563-1600

Alcoholics Anonymous
Support groups for recovering alcoholics and those who want to abstain from alcohol
(212) 870-3400

American Council for Drug Education
Drug education materials and information/ referral hotlines
(800) 488-DRUG (for online treatment options and referral information)

Children of Alcoholics Foundation
Information and referrals, educational materials, and training programs
(212) 595 5810 ext. 7760 (Materials and general offices)

Families Anonymous
Support groups for families struggling with substance abuse issues
(800) 736-9805

National Association for Children of Alcoholics
Information and educational materials for children of alcoholics and professionals
(888) 554-COAS
(301) 468-0985

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
Information and referrals, public education and advocacy
(800) NCA-CALL
(212) 206-6770

Nar-Anon Family Groups
Support groups for family and friends of drug abusers
(310) 547-5800

Narcotics Anonymous
Support groups for recovering drug abusers and those who want to abstain from drugs
(818) 773-9999

Rational Recovery Systems
Recovery program that is neither spiritually or psychologically based
(800) 303-CURE
(916) 621-2667

National Association for Native American Children of Alcoholics
Information and educational materials
(800) 322-5601
website in development

National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information
Educational materials and information
(800) 729-6686
(301) 468-2600

Some interesting books:
Black, Claudia.It Will Never Happen to Me. MAC Publishing, Denver, CO, 1982.

Brown, Stephanie. Safe Passage: Recovery for Adult Children of Alcoholics. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY, 1992.

Deutsch, Charles.Broken Bottles, Broken Dreams. Teachers College Press, New York, NY, 1982.

Gravitz, Herbert and Julie Bowden. Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics. Fireside/Learning Publications, New York, NY, 1987.

Mooney, A.J., A. Eisenberg and H. Eisenberg. The Recovery Book. Workman Publishing, New York, NY, 1992.

Seixas, Judith and Geraldine Youcha. Children of Alcoholics: A Survivor's Manual. Crown Publishers, New York, NY, 1985.

Wegscheider, Sharon. Another Chance: Hope and Health for the Alcoholic Family. Science and Behavior Books, Palo Alto, CA, 1989.

Woititz, Janet. Adult Children of Alcoholics(rev. ed.) Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL, 1990.

Wolin, Steven and Sybil Wolin. The Resilient Self: How Survivors of Troubled Families Rise Above Adversity. Villard Books, New York, NY, 1993.

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