How do explain addiction?

I’m curious how others explain addiction to your kids?

I grew up in an alcoholic/addict household where I learned addiction as a norm. To me as long as you to care of your responsibilities over all then you weren’t truly an alcoholic/addict. I have now come to learn that is not the case.

I have a 9 year old daughter and I’m 26 with more then 6 months of sobriety. Her dad an alcoholic as well. While we were together she witnessed our drunken arguments and a few of our physical altercations. When I made the decision to get sober and leave her dad she didn’t take it very well. I explained to her that we both were sick. And the only way for ME to get better was to separate. I explained to her that instead of going to the doctors office I go to AA meetings. I explain to her that talking to others with similar issues helps me stay sober. That if I don’t go to these meetings a relapse is more likely then not. She seems to understand it all. I also encourage her to ask questions about it if she doesn’t understand.

I feel I’ve done a decent job in explaining it to her but I would like to know how do you explain it?

Thank you for reading and any responses.


My son is 12 and is completely oblivious to my opiate usage. I’d rather keep that part of my life out of his ears and keep him going in the right direction. My dad was an addict as well, but I don’t want to put into my son’s mind that, oh maybe it just runs in the family, so I’ll use. Everyone is different on how to raise their kids, there is no wrong/right way when you feel it’s best for them. If I sense he is starting to mess around with drugs then maybe I’ll let him know how it ruined parts of my life, but for now he doesnt need to know. Hes a happy kid, and no signs of any mental illness, so I’ll let things run their course for now.


Congrats on 6 months sober, that’s a pretty big deal!

I have 3.9 kids, 19, 17 and 9 and one on the way in a couple weeks. One thing I’ve learned from my kids and me being a kid once upon a time is that they understand more than we realize. I asked this very question about 9 months ago, how to tell my kids.

I think that for the younger one, just reinforcing that alcohol is a poison and not a great choice when I can helps plant the seed. The older ones are at the age where they can relate to the social aspect of alcohol so I am a little more open with them. I share all that I can with them.

But above all, the key in all this is, is not talking to them about the dangers of alcohol/drugs, but showing them the beauty of sobriety. Do what you say and they will listen.

Best of luck to you!


My kids know that I’ve stopped drinking and I’ve explained that it is because alcohol was bad for me. We’ve discussed addictive substances and why they should abstain.

But I have not said I am an alcoholic or that their grandmother was an alcoholic either. It just has never felt appropriate.


Agree 100%

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My kids ages 11, 15 and 18 know I’m an alcoholic and come with me to my AA meetings now and then. They’ve see me at my worst and now at my much, much better. I hope if they find themselves in need and I’m not around, they will find AA.


My daughter, 19, has seen me at my worst. Passed out, puking and pissing myself. She has no doubts about my addiction. It took a while before I could admit to and bring it up. It is embarrassing and shameful stuff. Now, I’m proud to hear her tell stories of her peers drinking that “poison”, as she refers to it, and how they are too stupid to know what they are doing. I hope she keeps that attitude. All I can do is keep showing her that sober is better. :blush:


I told my children 22 and 16 that I was a addict when I found recovery… they both knew something was wrong and I finally told the truth they was great and very supportive my 16 year old comes to meetings sometimes and they both benefit from me being a clean and better mum … I’m glad my children know and I pray they don’t ever go through what I did . I think everyone has the right to choose if they want or not tell their children x


My kids (16, 18 and 19) know I have a alcohol problem. I’m open about it, but it’s not a every day subject :wink:
I warn my kids for alcohol and drugs, but just when I think it’s necesary. They all are raised with the fact that alcohol is for adults and is something to be carefull with. I have extra conversations when needed like when I discovered my youngest son secretly drank beer with his friends when he was 15.
The same with smoking.
I don’t want them to be that scared about alcohol. But I want them to be on guard about it. More then “normal” people.
I give myself as example. This is what alcohol can do to you. Mom can never drink one again! So be warned!

That’s how I do it.

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Wow!! I think you’re doing a great job by warning your daughter and telling her everything about this illness in a very open way!! Hopefully she won’t get involved with it also in the future. And I’m also happy that you’ve chose for yourself and your daughter as well and that you’re getting better by going to the AA meetings! A lot of parents can learn from you for sure!! Be proud of yourself! And keep up the good work! :muscle::ok_hand::+1::+1::+1:

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