Sometimes I wonder if the over-used phrase, “It is what it is” is simply a cop out, or denial dressed to kill. This surrender-driven phrase jolted me into action when I read that children living in homes where addictions rule are “the first hurt and the last helped,” It tells me there is much work to be done in the field of addiction and the innocent victims it claims—regardless of our age.

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This is COA Awareness Week – Children of Alcoholics – and it coincides with Valentine’s Day. As we close out this special week focused on love, the following data may help answer some personal and family behavioral issues.

Research convincingly demonstrates that children of alcohol or drug addicted parents are more likely to be subjected to multiple adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). “Experiences like growing up with parental addiction, and the chaos and stress that surround it, pop up over and over again as primary causes of toxic stress…once a home environment is disordered, the risk of witnessing or experiencing emotional, physical, or sexual abuse actually rises dramatically (Robert Anda, et al., 2006).

Research also has demonstrated that, when the impacted family members, including young children, receive the support they need to heal, families reunite successfully at a greater pace, … emotional and physical health and behavior all improve, making it possible for the children to change the trajectory of their lives.

The National Association for Children of Alcoholics—the Voice for the Children—is the oldest national membership and affiliate non-profit organization committed to eliminating the adverse impact of alcohol and drug use on children and families. For 33 years, NACoA has been raising awareness about the issues facing these children by advocating for policy change, advancing prevention services, and training professionals who work with children. Through its programs and services, NACoA brings hope, health and healing to children in need.

serenity prayer for kids

“It is what it is,” should never mean acceptance of situations when we can improve the lives of those who are suffering. Our spiritual awakening as the result of the 12 Steps, calls us to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.