image of child of addict parents for article entitled "Children of Addicts: Sesame Street Brings Unseen Stigma into the Spotlight" for Gulf Breeze Recovery non-12 step holistic drug and alcohol rehab in Florida

Children of Addicts: Sesame Street Brings Unseen Stigma into the Spotlight.

All too often, persons addicted to drugs are also parents.

When we talk about addiction, the last thing that may pop into our heads is Sesame Street.

image of Sesame Street character named Karli for article entitled "Children of Addicts: Sesame Street Brings Unseen Stigma into the Spotlight" for Gulf Breeze Recovery non-12 step holistic drug and alcohol rehab in FloridaBut the makers of the enormously popular children’s educational show recognized an issue most of us don’t think about—the impact of opioid addiction on the children of addicts. All too often, persons addicted to drugs are also parents, and their struggles interfere with their ability to properly parent. This can have significant psychological impacts on their kids.

 Children don’t always understand what’s happening in the “grown-up world” their parents live in.  As they get older, children may come to realize that a parent has a problem with drug addiction. This understanding can be devastating, especially as kids become more aware of what other people around them think. Having a mother or father whose behavior draws negative attention can be stigmatizing for young children who become embarrassed but powerless to do anything. Having access to someone who can relate to these feelings is often a huge relief.

 That’s where Karli comes in. Karli is a 6-year-old green monster...whose mother is addicted to drugs. Because of this, Karli stays with foster “for now” parents because her mom’s in treatment.

When we talk about addiction, the last thing that may pop into our heads is Sesame Street.

Introduced as part of the Sesame Street in Communities branch of the Sesame Workshop, Karli helps “bring to life an issue that a lot of people think of as a grown-up issue, and don’t understand the impact on young children,” as Sherrie Westin, President of the Sesame Workshop Social Impact and Philanthropy told TODAY. Though just one character, Karli has come to represent the unseen millions of young children who have parents battling addiction. Sesame Street puts the issue up on the screen in a way that doesn’t stigmatize the character but instead shows Karli expressing her feelings in a normal way as she adjusts to her temporary new lifestyle in her foster home.

image of Sesame Street character named Karli's 7C's for article entitled "Children of Addicts: Sesame Street Brings Unseen Stigma into the Spotlight" for Gulf Breeze Recovery non-12 step holistic drug and alcohol rehab in FloridaAny real solution to addiction must caringly but candidly acknowledge the pain of what all family members are going through, while placing enough attention on the needs of kids who may have experienced trauma or neglect. Many, if not most, children in need don’t get the level of care they need. Left untreated, children can experience feelings of shame, embarrassment, anxiety, and despair, putting them at risk of the same types of behavior as their addicted parent or parents.

Karli plays one small part in reaching out to such kids within their own homes. She helps offer coping skills, acts as a character they can relate to, and serves as a small and furry beacon of hope. Check out more about Karli’s educational videos and other resources on the Sesame Street in Communities project homepage.

One great printable page is Karli’s “7 C’s” which discusses critical lessons to teach children facing emotional distress related to parental drug addiction: “You didn’t Cause the problem. You can’t Control it. You can’t Cure it. But…You can help take Care of yourself. You can Communicate your feelings. You can make healthy Choices. You can Celebrate yourself!”

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About Gulf Breeze Recovery:

Gulf Breeze Recovery, unlike other treatment centers in Florida, is a non 12 step holistic drug and alcohol rehab that is changing the future of addiction treatment with their THRIVE® (Total Health Recovery) program focused on overcoming chronic relapse.
Gulf Breeze Recovery’s THRIVE® program is a non 12-step approach designed for those who are looking for a drug and alcohol treatment program to produce a different and positive result.
This non-12 step program allows you to drive beyond your addictions and promotes a new outlook on life.
We are licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families, and our last audit scored 99.7! Also, we are gold certified by the Joint Commission.

Program logo: Gulf Breeze Recovery offers a true non-12-Step, holistic drug treatment program with licensed mental health professionals who have small caseloads so that they can offer individualized and intensive care and it's called THRIVE®

End Chronic Relapse and Start a New Life!

At Gulf Breeze Recovery we don’t want you to have just a great recovery, we want you to have a great life!

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