My Child & Addiction Podcast Sees 50% Rise in Downloads Amid Pandemic

Podcast serves as a robust resource helping parents of children with addiction

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The COVID-19 pandemic has devastatingly accelerated the number of people suffering from substance use disorders, with overdose deaths totaling a heart-breaking 81,000 based upon the latest reported annual data. My Child & Addiction: Parent-to-Parent Podcast offers parents who are trying to cope with their child’s addiction or other mental health conditions, the comfort of listening to an array of Parent Support Group meetings. As more parents seek support from peers in similar situations, downloads of the podcast have increased 50% since the onset of the pandemic.

The podcast was developed by three fathers: Steve, Stephen and Jay. While managing the challenges of parenting their own children, these “Three Papas” seek to help other parents who are feeling frightened, alone and more isolated than ever. My Child & Addiction offers an audible meeting of parents gathered in a safe, judgement-free space for shared experiences and loving support as they struggle to cope with the infectious family disease of addiction, compounded with the added burden of COVID-19.

Even if they wanted to, parents aren’t able to attend an in-person meeting right now due to the pandemic,” says Steve, creator of My Child & Addiction. “Others can’t imagine going into a room with strangers and sharing their most frightening and personal experiences. By listening to how peers are coping with the many challenges of parenting a child with addiction, parents have an introduction and reliable resource of this Parent Support Group, an invaluable, private, safe space for so many of us.”

With a new meeting recorded each month, My Child & Addiction features a rotating group of 20 mothers and fathers who offer a noncommercial, no-cost podcast for those seeking support anytime, anywhere. Striving to make this resource available to a broader audience, the podcast recently marked 75,000 downloads, including international listeners throughout Europe, Asia and Australia.

When their child is receiving treatment, many parents receive guidance that goes against their natural parental instincts. Oftentimes, parents feel they’re supposed to know how to do everything but there’s no book on having a child with addiction,” explains Jay, My Child & Addiction co-creator. “More than addiction and recovery education and support, the My Child & Addiction podcast is a tool in parental survival.”

Each podcast begins with a montage of heartfelt comments from parents. The group then tackles a different issue per meeting including: how to cope with the fear and reality of relapse, mentally preparing for family gatherings, and how parents can move forward with their own life despite the shame and blame often associated with addiction.

I hope that many more parents will come to know that they are not alone and that other affected parents can be so helpful and supportive in their journey. That’s what this podcast is all about,” shares Stephen, My Child & Addiction co-creator.

The experience of having adolescent children in active addiction or getting into recovery is isolating and frightening,” explains Susan, a mother of two young men who has participated in the podcast from the beginning. “The pandemic doubles down on that experience of feeling alone and helpless. Parent support is really magical.”

During each My Child & Addiction meeting, the group is joined by a clinical expert from Caron Treatment Centers who provides insight and family education to participating parents and listeners.

We must end the shame and blame and raise awareness that addiction is a family disease and that families need their own support and treatment to truly recover,” says Caron Treatment Centers Chief Executive Officer Doug Tieman.

The podcast is an avenue for parents to privately address their feelings, gather information, and sort out strategies for dealing with a child in trouble. The episodes encourage you by bringing bits of laughter and can also move you to tears,” shares Caron Treatment Centers Chief Clinical Officer David Rotenberg.

We are battling an epidemic within a pandemic,” continued Steve. “We still don’t have a vaccine for substance use disorder. As parents, we need support to help us manage the scariest times of our lives. Hearing others talk about how they’ve managed themselves has been the most sustaining, powerful factor in my own parental recovery.”

My Child & Addiction: Parent-to-Parent Podcast is available for download from Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.

About My Child & Addiction

My Child & Addiction: Parent-to-Parent Podcast was conceived and developed by three fathers of children with substance use disorders. Joined by several other Parent Support Group participants, their hope is that by sharing their stories, other parents and family members are offered encouragement and heartfelt support as they travel the challenging journey together.

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Erin McCarthy


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