Those of you who follow this web site regularly know that each holiday season I talk about taking care of yourself, of being good to yourself, to be prepared if you have to deal with alcoholism/drugs in your home.

The holiday season is always an excuse for drinking and drugging. But then people who suffer from addiction will always find an excuse to satisfy their cravings. If you are in a home where the addictive habits really burst forth during the holidays there are several preparations you and your siblings can do. 

  1. Make a list of relatives and friends whom you feel comfortable visiting. Phone them and ask if in an emergency you could stay with them.  
  2. Always let your parents know where you are spending the night. Don’t just tell them but also write the name, address and phone number down and safety pin the paper on your bed. If your parents have email send it to them as well. 
  3. If you have no place to go have the phone numbers of your local Alcoholics Anonymous, Alateen and other addiction help centers available in case you need to talk to someone.  
  4. If all else fails be prepared to phone 911.  
  5. Depending on your relationships with your mother and father, the holidays are sometimes a good time to discuss what worries you about your parents’ habits. It is important to talk to your parents in a positive and non-insulting way. For example instead of saying, “I hate it when –“ you might say, “I really worry when you —, or “My feelings hurt when you —“.   

Lets try and be grateful for the good things we do have. It may also be a good time if you are affiliated with a church or synagogue to talk to your clergyman about your personal concerns. Make some plans of your own where you can let off some steam. Is there a pool near your home? Bowling Alley? A gym? You get the idea. Get some activities going.  May you find the strength within you to make your wishes come true.  You are stronger, sharper and wiser than you realize. Believe in yourself. 


    1. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No:  Sometimes, our fear of negative reaction from our friends, or others we don’t even know, keeps us from doing what we know is right.  Real simple, it may seem like “everyone is doing it,” but they are not.  Don’t let someone else make your decisions for you.  If someone is pressuring you to do something that’s not right for you, you have the right to say no, the right not to give a reason why, and the right to just walk away. 

    2. Connect With Your Friends and Avoid Negative Peer Pressure:  Pay attention to who you are hanging out with.  If you are hanging out with a group in which the majority of kids are drinking alcohol or using drugs to get high, you may want to think about making some new friends.  You may be headed toward an alcohol and drug problem if you continue to hang around others who routinely drink alcohol, smoke marijuana, abuse prescription drugs or use illegal drugs.  You don’t have to go along to get along. 

   3. Make Connections With Your Parents or Other Adults:  As you grow up, having people you can rely on, people you can talk to about life, life’s challenges and your decisions about alcohol and drugs is very important.  The opportunity to benefit from someone else’s life experiences can help put things in perspective and can be invaluable. If your family has a drug/drinking problem seek out others who have a healthy life style. They’ll answer your questions. Join the scouts, a religious group, a sports group to find the people you can respect.

   4. Enjoy Life and Do What You Love –  Don’t Add Alcohol and Drugs:  Learn how to enjoy life and the people in your life, without adding alcohol or drugs.  Alcohol and drugs can change who you are, limit your potential and complicate your life.  Too often, “I’m bored” is just an excuse.  Get out and get active in school and community activities such as music, sports, arts or a part-time job.  Giving back as a volunteer is a great way to gain perspective on life. 

   5. Follow the Family Rules About Alcohol and Drugs:  As you grow up and want to assume more control over your life, having the trust and respect of your parents is very important.  Don’t let alcohol and drugs come between your and your parents.  Talking with mom and dad about alcohol and drugs can be very helpful. (If your parents suffer from severe addiction talk to Al-Anon or Alateen or a counselor with whom you feel comfortable – Edith Lynn Hornik-Beer, author of For Teenagers Living With A Parent Who Abuses Alcohol/Drugs) 

    6. Get Educated About Alcohol and Drugs:  You cannot rely on the myths and misconceptions that are out there floating around among your friends and on the internet.  Your ability to make the right decisions includes getting educated.  Visit Learn About Alcohol and Learn About Drugs.  And, as you learn, share what you are learning with your friends and your family. 

   7. Be a Role Model and Set a Positive Example:  Don’t forget, what you do is more important than what you say!  You are setting the foundation and direction for your life; where are you headed? 

  8.  Plan Ahead:  As you make plans for the party or going out with friends you need to plan ahead.  You need to protect yourself and be smart.  Don’t become a victim of someone else’s alcohol or drug use.  Make sure that there is someone you can call, day or night, no matter what, if you need them.  And, do the same for your friends. 

  9.  Speak Out/Speak Up/Take Control:  Take responsibility for your life, your health and your safety.  Speak up about what alcohol and drugs are doing to your friends, your community and encourage others to do the same. 

    10.Get Help!:  If you or someone you know is in trouble with alcohol or drugs,, get help. Don’t wait.  You are not alone. 


Parents who suffer with addiction are sometimes not in control of their tempers. If a parent lashes out at you, talks hurtfully, a good answer at such moments are “I am your (son) (daughter) and I love you. You are hurting me.” 

If you decide to leave the house remember to leave a note on your pillow letting your family know where you can be reached. 

Reach out to others for help.


Here is some sobering info:  

According to National Alliamce on Mental Health 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year and 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24. Okay, now take a deep breath.  

If you feel that you have been in denial about feeling discouraged, unhappy, depressed DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  

Visit   and remember for immediate mental health help needs dial 988 


O.K. so I am emailing you something that was meant for adults. But it is something that will help you. Face it. If you have a parent or relatives who have a drinking or drug problem you may have inherited the urge, that overwhelming desire to do the same. Your parents may not realize this danger or they may not want to deal with it. But you can take good care of yourself and perhaps your siblings or a good friend. Visit this video on You Tube. You’ll be glad you did.

Chinook Horses, located in Billings, Montana, which offers a type of forget the couch and think horses therapy, presented in its recent newsletter  the following story:  

When Echo was looking for a therapy program to treat her substance use disorder, she knew that she did not want to do a traditional talk therapy program as was expected of her.  Echo had known about equine therapy since she was twelve, but it was not until she was pregnant and motivated to stay clean from drugs that she inquired about Chinook Horses’ services. “I wanted to do therapy on my own terms,” Echo says. “It’s easier to be around animals and talk to them and connect with them than it is with humans.” Echo responded positively to individual therapy sessions with Chinook Horses, staying clean from drugs entirely in the two years since her daughter was born.  Even though Echo still has triggers, it is through the skills that she has learned at Chinook that she remains clean, especially for the sake of her daughter. “She changed my whole life. She made me want to be better, not just for the courts but for myself.” The most important thing that Echo says she has learned from Chinook is instilling a genuine sense of confidence in herself, rather than the “false” confidence  or facade that she was used to putting on. Of her long term goals with Chinook, Echo wants to learn how to be more assertive and establish more healthy boundaries.  Echo owes her success to her horse, Mavis, whom she has also named Midnight. Echo also wants to thank the therapists at Chinook Horses for her success, calling her facilitators “understanding and nice” because they allowed her to form her own connection with the horse, rather than intervening and dictating how the connection should be managed. “They work with you well… They let you do most of the work with the horses… I thought that was pretty cool”  

An inspiring story! But you know what – horse therapy deals with all therapy needs – shyness, depression, lack of concentration at school or at work. Some of you looking for a career in the field of therapy may find horse therapy something to look into. 

For more details visit: 





Browsing around on the media, looking at medical studies and other resources to see what is of help to teenagers what truly annoys me is that there is a lot of brouhaha about teenagers drinking. Yes, teenage drinking is bad. It can among other things damage your brain which is not fully developed until you are well into your 20s. 

But what about teenagers who live in a home where there is parental drinking issues? How about talking about the available resources for them!  

But you all can take action. You have heard me before praise Alateen. 

This is how they describe themselves: “Alateen meetings in the Mobile App are for young people aged 13 to 18who have been affected by someone else’s drinking. We are invited to share experience, strength, and hope with other teens.” 

Everything is anonymous. So go for it. Also check out if there is a group in your area. If not check out if any of the kids on the Mobile App are from your area. Get in touch with your local Alcoholics Anonymous and Alanon to see if they can help you organize a local Alateen. In the meantime do the Mobile App.    

If you want to join your ethnic group google to see if there is one available. If you are an American Native put in your tribe’s name and put Alateen with it. Latino? Asian? Go for it. 

The book For Teenagers Living With A Parent Who Abuses Alcohol/Drugs  has a chapter titled “Internet and Helpful 800 Numbers” which will direct you to more resources. As a library card member you have the right to ask your library to buy the book so that you can take it out or read it in the library. You may want to google the resources mentioned because as I am writing this some may change their phone numbers or website address.  

Be good to yourself. Check out what is there for you.  


Be protective of yourselves. 

  1. If things are truly bad at your house know to where you can escape. An Aunt? A good friend? Someone at Alateen? Be sure to leave a note where your parents can find it telling them where you are. Haven’t joined Alateen – now may be the time. If you don’t have an Alateen in your town then join Alanon or make contact with Alcoholics Anonymous. Remember all these organizations practice strict anonymity so no one will reveal what goes on in your home.
  2.  If things are unsafe at home and you can’t get out phone 911
  3. Do you drink or take drugs? Addiction runs in families. You may want to get in touch with  

Be good to yourself. Take good care of yourself.


Whether you are in high school, community college, tech school, you will want to know about  Association of Recovery in Higher Education. As you all know addiction is hereditary and those of you who have conquered the problem and want some support ARHE is a stroke of luck for both boys and girls. 

     Girls be sure to scroll to the bottom of this message to read your exclusive news.

     Go for it. Be good to yourself.

 ARHE Membership offers more opportunities for involvement in the greater recovery field!

Please feel free to comment, call, or email if you have any questions!  
Phone: (540) 315-0205 | Email:

ARHE Membership Offers Exclusive Scholarship Opportunities for Students!
Students in Recovery Scholarship: The Nickolas-Truszkowska Scholarship is for students, current or new to college, who are recovering from addiction. Applications are due by March 1st. Click here for more information or contact Kathryn Martinez at  


New Reports and Grant Program Address Health Needs of Pregnant Women and Children Affected by Substance Use

A new series of reports from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on substance-exposed pregnancies highlights how pregnant and postpartum women who use substances and their children can benefit from evidence-based prevention and treatment strategies. The reports are being released as SAMHSA begins accepting applications for the Services Grant Program for Residential Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women. This $10 million grant program will provide pregnant and postpartum women and their children with comprehensive substance use treatment and recovery support services across residential and outpatient settings. In addition, for the first time this year, the program will extend services to fathers, partners, and other family members. The application due date for the grant program is April 4, 2022. Read the new reports below:

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We have discussed pregnancy before especially what a responsibility it is. However since that blog was posted the recent supreme court decision to overturn Roe versus Wade, no matter what your thoughts are about abortion, there is much to consider. I invite you all to visit

While the information in that particular blog takes into account women who are alcoholics there is also much information there for those who do not drink but are trying to make a decision about an unwanted pregnancy. You may want to keep the information given there at your fingertips not only for you but also for friends who may ask for your help.