SEABROOK, N.J., Nov. 12, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Seabrook House, an internationally recognized inpatient addictions treatment center, applauds Nickelodeon for its decision to address the pain and trauma of having an alcoholic parent in the upcoming special, "Under the Influence: Kids of Alcoholics," premiering Sunday, Nov. 14 at 9 p.m.
Stephanie Loebs, vice president of treatment services at Seabrook House, is the vice chair of the board for the National Association of Children of Alcoholics. Kids of alcoholics suffer silently and often blame themselves for their parents' behavior, she said, and this special is an excellent first step in letting them know they are not alone.
"One in four children have alcoholic parents, and they are carrying not only the wrong idea but responsibility that is not theirs to bear," Loebs said. "It's a huge mission for NACOA to expose this issue, and I am so grateful for Nickelodeon for addressing it."
Eleven million American kids under the age of 18 have an alcoholic parent. On the special Sunday night, host Linda Ellerbee speaks to five of them, including 12-year-old Kate from New Mexico.
"It was like I was the mother," she said. "I have lost some of my childhood... I know things some kids my age don't know — like maybe should not know."
"What children of alcoholics do need to know," said Ellerbee, "is that it's not their fault, they didn't cause it and they can't fix it. Most of all they need to know they're not alone."
"I love my mom but she loves drinking more than me," says Brittany, 15, from Mattituck, N.Y. "I've tried to help my mom not to drink. I yelled and cried and begged her to stop. I have one tip. If you want the alcoholic not to drink, don't dump the alcohol down the drain. That's just going to make them more angry."
Jerry Moe, National Director of Children's Programs at the Betty Ford Center, acknowledges it's difficult for kids growing up in homes where there's alcoholism because they never know what's going to happen next. But he also says kids can cope, "by having safe people that you can talk to about what's going on at home. By learning problem solving skills, ways to stay safe."
The good news is that alcoholics can get better. "I wondered, 'What's wrong with my dad? Is he sick?'" says Sam, 13, from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Yes, his father was sick. He suffered from a disease called alcoholism, but agreed to go to rehab after an intervention. "My dad went into rehab, and I saw this place, almost surreal like. It was a place that would take in broken people, and basically taught them skills so they wouldn't drink anymore and would stay sober. Not all the time it would work, but it worked for my dad and that's all that matters to me."
ABOUT SEABROOK HOUSE
Seabrook House is an internationally recognized, private and CARF-accredited addiction treatment center. The main facility is located in Bridgeton, NJ, convenient to Pennsylvania, New York and surrounding states. A 90-day transitional living facility for men, Seabrook House West, opened in north central Pennsylvania in February 2008. We have been helping families find the courage to find recovery from alcoholism, drug addiction, substance abuse and other compulsive diseases since 1974.
SOURCE Seabrook House