Addiction and the Family (cont.)

MODERATOR:
How are these very adult issues handled with young children in the children's programs?

WAITE-O'BRIEN:
The children's program is for kids ages 7 to 12. The focus of that treatment is to help the child understand that this is a disease that they are not responsible for. They didn't cause it, they can't control it and they can't cure it. They also get the opportunity to tell their parent how they feel about what's been going on. And it's a wonderfully freeing experience for a child.

FORD BALES:
Some children do go back to a home where the parent is still using or drinking. What we've seen at the Betty Ford Center is that children who have gone through the program may have gone onto adulthood to do drugs or alcohol, but they know where to come to get help. It's almost an early intervention for the child.

"Don't give up on hope. If you can't get that alcoholic or addict to change, you can change and make a difference."

MODERATOR:
We are almost out of time. Before we wrap things up for today, do you have any final words for us?

WAITE-O'BRIEN:
What I'd like to say in closing is that addiction does not have to be a fatal or family-wrecking illness. Any part of the family who reaches out and gets help changes that family dynamic. It can begin with the person who is not alcoholic. They get help, that changes things, and then it's likely down the road that the addict or alcoholic will get help.

If people have more questions, they can access our web site at www.bettyfordcenter.org or call our admissions department. We're happy to give them information about the Betty Ford Center or treatment centers in their home area. We want most of all for people to get help.

FORD BALES:
Our admissions staff takes phone calls and helps people find other treatment in their community; not everybody is the perfect patient for the Betty Ford Center. We are constantly sending people in other directions or the direction they should go. So I want to encourage people to call for help and information. Don't give up on hope. If you can't get that alcoholic or addict to change, you can change and make a difference.

MODERATOR:
Our thanks to Susan Ford Bales and Nancy Waite-O'Brien, PhD for joining us today. And thanks to you, members, for your great questions. I'm sorry we couldn't get to all of them. For more discussion on this topic, be sure to visit the WebMD message boards to ask questions of our online health professionals and to share questions, comments, and support with other WebMD members.



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