Children who grow up around families who struggle with addiction are more likely to become addicted to alcohol or drugs in the future. Addiction does not only impact adult children physically, but emotionally as well due to a dysfunctional home life. The effects of alcoholism on the family and other addictions extend well beyond the person who is addicted as it harms communication in families and tends to branch out into all areas of family life. Growing up around addiction is difficult and challenging.


A grown child of a person with addiction may become accustomed to split personalities which include feelings of love and safety yet feeling fear, uncertainty and hatred. Family of origin issues and addiction can go hand-in-hand, passed down to multiple generations if not dealt with appropriately. When a mother or father transitions in and out of recovery, the family often goes along for the strange dance between a sober family and one that is wrestling with addiction. The family may appear the same to the outside, but inside everyone in the house can feel it much differently as it ebbs and flows between recovery and active addiction.

Increased Risk

Adult children of parents who struggle with addiction suffer from an increased chance of dealing with addiction themselves. Children are at a disadvantage of stuffing feelings down, suppressing emotions and developing unhealthy coping skills as a result of the environment. A common belief is adult children tend to abuse drugs or alcohol based on genetics while another train of thought suggests environment plays a large role. Some common traits of adult children of addiction include:

  • Fear of intimacy, change or coping with life
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Fear of making mistakes
  • Aggression
  • Manipulation
  • Perfectionist tendencies


Treatment options for adult children of addiction include learning to cope with emotions and relationships more effectively. Similar to addictions, many adult children benefit from treatment, support groups and alternative healing therapies. For individuals who grew up in a family where addiction was rife, it is possible he or she suffers from addiction as well. It becomes important to know where to find help for addiction rather than let it continue to spiral out of control. Treatment centers provide a safe space to process the challenges of addiction and work to address the underlying issues associated with it. At the end of the day, it is more worthwhile to deal with addiction at its core than let it continue to wreak havoc in a person’s life.


Cypress Lake Recovery provides a safe space for healing in beautiful East Texas. The landscape offers a quiet, serene setting where you are able to focus on getting better from the ravages of addiction. If you are ready to seek help, we are here to offer counseling and therapy along with our programs designed to support your mind, body, and soul recovery. Call us at 866-217-2636 to get started.