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As many as 1 in 4 children grow up in homes where substance abuse and/or codependency is present, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. When alcohol or drug abuse is prevalent in the home, it affects children deeply.

One method the children or siblings of an addict use to deal with the chaotic home life is to assume a role of responsibility. Another role is that of the "innocent victims," who withdraws into their own world and suffer in silence.

Inside, the innocent victims often believe that the addiction is their fault. They feel lonely and don't want to add to the chaos. This leads to a pattern of invisibility. They become loners, with no friends.

Innocent victims suffer from low self-esteem and have little zest for life. They rarely confide in adults they trust or the authorities, which often leads to additional feelings of helplessness and anxiety.

Chabad Lifeline's Youth Counsellors are trained in identifying innocent victims. We see addiction as a family disease and we make sure to meet with parents, siblings, and children of the addict.


If you are concerned that you or someone you know may be an innocent victim, contact us. We'll set up an immediate, confidential intake at no cost, and you'll never have to be alone again.


To learn more about our family workshops and groups, contact us for more information)

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