Talking to Your Children about Substance Use with RCA’s Tara Rivera
Authored by Nick Goldberg
On March 25, 2021, Southborough Access Media show Coffee Talk hosted Tara Rivera, treatment advocate and recovery coach for Recovery Centers of America, representing our Massachusetts facilities RCA at Danvers and RCA at Westminster.
The conversation centered on the topic of talking to your children about substance use. As
host Sarah Cassell remarked, “There is no handbook that comes with parenting.”
This lack gave Rivera, along with the other panelists, the opportunity to convey her hard-won perspective on this issue.
In recovery herself for over two decades, and the mother of a nine-year-old girl, Rivera described how she considers her daughter to be high-risk for substance use disorder due to genetics as well as to trauma—with the separation between her and her daughter’s father.
To counteract these preconditions, Rivera has taught her daughter how to identify and talk about her feelings and make healthy choices early on.
She also stressed the importance for children at various stages of development to have other people with whom to talk about this issue, aside from their parents. From her own experience, when she began going to 12-Step meetings at age 19, Rivera relayed how helpful it was to find support from a high school peer she unexpectedly re-encountered there, rather than being told what to do by her mother and her mother’s friends.
Watch the full video here.