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November 2004Vol. 5, No. 9Parenting and Addiction

Providing children with the caring, nurturing environment necessary for healthy physical and emotional development is difficult when one or more caregivers are addicted to drugs or alcohol. A recently released book, The Lowdown on Families Who Get High: Successful Parenting for Families Affected by Addiction, by Patricia O'Gorman and Philip Diaz, describes the impact of addiction on children and families and offers parenting strategies for each stage of a child's life.

The first two sections of the book use a combination of research and personal stories to describe the issues from various perspectives, including the addicted parent, the recovering parent, the partner of an addicted parent, parents who are adult children of addicts, and caregivers of children of addicted parents. The section on parenting strategies emphasizes a 12-step approach, revised for parents and caregivers. The third section of the book, written specifically for professionals, provides the legal framework for substance abuse and child welfare issues, as well as information on how to engage families in treatment.

The book can be ordered online from the Child Welfare League of America at