There has been a sea change in the way Americans believe policy makers
should be addressing addiction issues.* They want to see changes in
laws, policies and attitudes so that addiction is treated as a health
issue — not a law enforcement one. They want prevention, education,
treatment and recovery programs to be supported.
We’ve heard the quote before: “what a man thinketh, a man does; what he does, he becomes…” When I understood the importance of being a good example for my children, I revised that old quote: “What a child sees, a child does. What a child does, a child becomes.”
In 1989 Virginia Lewis and I began the Family Recovery Research Project at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto to address several basic questions: what is the process of recovery for the family? What happens over time when one or both parents stop drinking?
The stories of ACOA parents struggling to do a good job of raising their children provoke thoughts of what happened in their childhoods. What would have made a difference in that original family? A successful intervention with the alcoholic is an obvious choice, but in addition the sober parent can make an enormous difference in mitigating the damage to the children.