DACOA was established as a non-profit corporation in October 1987 and became an affiliate of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics nacoa.org . We are the leading voice advocating at the state and local level for children of alcoholics. The organization does not provide treatment of any kind, but directs people to appropriate self-help and professional resources.
The DACOA Board of Directors is composed of members of the local community who are committed to helping children of alcoholics receive all the education they need to navigate the problems they face.
Executive Director - Barbara P. Ridge, Ph.D., LCSW
Many children of alcoholics (COA’s) hesitate to admit that they come from an alcoholic family because they fear it is a betrayal of their family so the disease of alcoholism becomes the “family secret”. This “family secret” looms large and occupies considerable space in their emotional lives. They learn not to acknowledge their emotions and continue to use the same patterns of coping that they developed in childhood. Since childhood was full of disappointments and lies they learned not to trust, not to get close to anyone and not to communicate in a healthy way. As a result many adult children of alcoholics (ACOA’s) have trouble being intimate, try to control events, have unhealthy relationships and stress related depression. These are not uncommon circumstances for COA’s.
I hope this web site helps you understand that you are not alone and that we are here to help you meet the challenges you face as a child of an alcoholic. Contacting us is your first significant step to resolving the problem and giving up the family secret of alcoholism.
Barbara Ridge, Ph.D., LCSW