Children of Alcoholic & Drug Addicted Parents

I CAN BE ME  helps children of alcoholic and drug addicted parents. This useful resource provides the information you need to help these children. Although this book focuses on children of alcoholic parents, it can be adapted to fit the needs of the child whose parents are addicted to other substances.

View our TABLE OF CONTENTS to find out how you can help children of drug addicted or alcoholic parents.


Introduction--includes information about children of addicted parents. It addresses the risks these children face and why they need help. Suggestions for use and strategies for integrating I CAN BE ME into your own helping program or family life are also offered.

Chapter 1--Can't Stop--focuses on the basics, teaching children about addiction and introducing some common experiences and feelings that children of drug abusers and alcoholics experience. Children learn that they cannot cause or stop the addiction.

Chapter 2--Feelings--focuses further on the typical feelings children of addicted parents share. Children are also encouraged to acknowledge and cope with their own feelings.

Chapter 3--Feeling Masks--addresses the defenses we use to hide our true feelings and encourages children to find times when they can lower their defenses, relax and be themselves.

Chapter 4--A Family Problem--teaches about the repercussions a family member's addiction can have on all family members while validating children's typical reactions and encouraging them to adopt healthy coping behaviors.

Chapter 5--Take Care of Yourself--teaches children to focus on themselves, to take care of themselves and move toward more rewarding lives despite the family problem of addiction.

Chapter 6-- Decisions--focuses on the need to make good decisions, and provides a framework for helping children to develop sound decision making skills.

Chapter 7--Family Change--helps children of  addicted parents acknowledge the good things about their families and encourages them to build on these positive aspects.

Chapter 8--Lots of Kids Like Us--stresses that children of drug addicted parents and alcoholics are not alone. There are others who share their problem and places to find help. This chapter encourages children to break through their isolation, to obtain help,camaraderie and fun.

 "I CAN BE ME" Can Help Children of Alcoholic & Drug Addicted Parents

 I CAN BE ME can help you reach children of parents who suffer from various forms of addiction. Apply the suggestions that work for you.

Children's Support Groups

  1. Build a support group for children around I CAN BE ME.
  2. Use as a supplemental resource within an already established program.
  3. Give a copy to families and introduce parents to the issues their children face.
  4. Provide children with a copy to support them after their group or counseling sessions have ended.

Counseling and Therapy Programs

  1. I CAN BE ME can educate children about parental addiction and facilitate the expression of their issues and concerns during the counseling session.
  2. Use as a catalyst to encourage the expression and validation of feelings.
  3. Use as a diagnostic tool to help evaluate the individual needs of each child.

Addiction Treatment Programs

  1. As a parent resource for treatment or recovery programs to increase understanding of how to help children of alcoholics and drug addicted parents.
  2. As a guide for treatment center staff working with young children.

Parents and Other Caring Adults

  1. As a guide for parents to enhance understanding of their children and develop strategies to assist them.
  2. As a catalyst to promote positive change in the child's life.

School Systems

  1. As a guide for support staff who counsel children and their families, and who seek help for children of drug addicted parents and alcoholics.
  2. As a resource for children that can be available in their school library or classroom.
  3. Integrate "I CAN BE ME" into a larger unit on family studies or drug education. 

"I CAN BE ME" also includes suggestions to help you integrate this book into your own helping program or family life.

"I CAN BE ME" helps children of alcoholic and drug addicted parents.