peanut allergy

Peanut Allergies Set the Standard the Addiction Community Must Follow

Everyone knows a child with a peanut allergy. These children are protected from peanut exposure at school, on playdates, at team sporting events, at home and even on airplanes. Adults with young children cannot go a week without being notified of a classmate or playmate with a peanut allergy. Handouts at school, announcements on airplanes and disclaimers on birthday party invitations have become the norm.

This incredible focus on the dangers of peanut allergies has undoubtedly saved thousands of children from serious ailments or death. Yet, this movement was developed for a disease that affects less than 1% of children in the United States.

What a wonderful example this is of America’s ability to mobilize for the protection of its children.

Yet, what is our country doing for children with an equally deadly disease hiding in their genes — the gene of addiction?

The number of these children dwarf the number of children with peanut allergies (children of alcoholics alone total over 11,000,000 in the U.S. These children with a hidden allergy to alcohol are in grave danger of developing the same disease their parent suffers from. For example, some research indicates that a son who has an alcoholic father is 8 times more likely to develop alcoholism than his peers.

Where are handouts from school for these children? Why is the airline pilot not announcing that a teenager with an alcohol allergy is on board, so beer will not be served? And where are the disclaimers for those preteens invited to a high school party where alcohol will be served?

Today, children with peanut allergies in their genes are protected by the full force of our fantastic country. Children with addiction in their genes are ignored and left to their own devices for protection.

Marc Treitler and his family are the founders and creators of the family addiction education website www.potatoallergy.com and the authors and illustrators of My Dad Is an Alcoholic, What About Me?: A Pre-teen Guide to Conquering Addictive Genes.

Learn more about how to talk to your kids about substance abuse at www.potatoallergy.com. You can also find and connect with the authors on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.

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Marc Treitler

Marc enjoys spending time with his family and their new Yorkie puppy, Coco. He is an executive of a utility company, which keeps him very busy and allows him to travel throughout the country. When Marc isn’t working or on his phone, his hobbies include: embarrassing his wife and kids, convincing his daughter that boys are bad, passing his musical tastes to his son, cleaning-up puppy pee inside the house, and talking politics to anyone that will listen.
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