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Home > Parenting positively - helping teenagers to cope with a parent’s problem drug or alcohol use.

Tusla Child and Family Agency, Barnardos. (2015) Parenting positively - helping teenagers to cope with a parent’s problem drug or alcohol use. Dublin: Tusla.

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This booklet is for parents of teenagers who are affected by a parent’s drug or alcohol use. If you are a parent who has a problem with alcohol or drugs, or if your partner has a problem, you may be concerned about how this is affecting your teenager. This booklet is also for any other adult who is concerned about a teenager such as a grandparent, guardian or friend.

Children of all ages suffer when a parent has a problem with drugs or alcohol. While a parent might be there physically, for the child it may seem like their mum or dad is not emotionally present. It can cause feelings like confusion, worry, anger, shame or self blame. If a parent has a problem with drugs or alcohol, it can be a complicated issue. Sometimes there can be money problems, family arguments, domestic violence or a breakdown of communication. Life can become chaotic or unpredictable and, for many children, there are serious welfare risks. Every situation is unique, however, and different families can be affected in different ways.

All families have strengths and ways of coping with difficulties. As a parent, you are responsible for your child’s well-being and this booklet will help you to support your teenager and build on your strengths. It will help you understand how your child is being affected and give you tips for talking about it and keeping your teen safe.


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