Bermudian returns to island with gift for children of addiction
Children living in family scenarios where addiction issues are all around them need to be taught that the situation is not their fault, a leading expert has insisted.
Bermudian Margaret Swift Thompson has returned to the island to encourage wider discussion on the emotive subject.
Ms Swift Thompson is visiting the island to hold talks and distribute a book which deals with the impact of addictions on family from a child’s point of view.
She brought 15 copies of the Hot Dogs Anonymous book by Sarah Bridges to give to schools with a view to helping affected children better understand their home environments.
Ms Swift Thompson, who worked as a drug and alcohol counsellor at Hazelden Betty Ford for 23 years, has launched a coaching initiative called Embrace Family Recovery.
She told The Royal Gazette: “Often children living among addiction within the home think it must be their fault.
“They think they must have done something wrong.
“That’s a dangerous set-up. In reality their parent or a family member has a disease.
“The book is a great way of getting this message across, as it is about a dog who is addicted to hot dogs.
“There is an assumption that only children dealing with a problem will need it, but the problem is everywhere.
“That’s why it is important to get this book into schools.”
Ms Swift Thompson, who lives in North Carolina, said she would like to spend more time on the island in the future, educating on the issue.
She said: “I would love to come back to Bermuda more often and do training sessions and talks on this subject. So, if anyone would like to organise that, that would be great.”
Ms Swift Thompson added: “Children, the youngest family members affected by the disease of addiction, are often the last to receive help.
“Sadly, this leaves them trying to sort out this complex disease for themselves and mostly blaming themselves for the family chaos."
She added: "I am honoured to have the opportunity to return to my home country and share this valuable resource, generously donated by Dr Sarah Bridges.
“Addiction affects those struggling with the disease and their families, friends and colleagues.
“I hope that by sharing my experiences, I can help others find the strength and courage to seek help and support."
• For more information about Margaret Swift Thompson, Embrace Family Recovery and Hot Dogs Anonymous distribution, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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