The Children Of Alcoholism And Substance Abuse (COASA) program supports children of alcoholism and substance abuse by advocating for them in community forums and developing appropriate supportive educational groups for them throughout Boston. COASA facilitates school and community-based prevention/intervention services, adapting them to the particular needs of the children served.

Research suggests that 15 percent of U.S. children are exposed to alcohol abuse and/or substance abuse in the family, and children who experience alcoholism and substance abuse in their lives often suffer from a wide variety of problems, including poor self-esteem and problems with relationships.

COASA works within Boston neighborhoods with existing drug coalitions and with the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery (MOAR). The program offers resources to the children regardless of whether the parents are in treatment.

Specific services include:

  • Individual, family and group counseling
  • Support groups
  • Advocacy in the community

Children who receive services through COASA know they are not alone in their struggle to understand the impact of alcohol and substance abuse on their families.


The National Association for Children of Addiction produced a video series called “On the Road to Recovery” last year.  One of the videos is “Generational Issues Affecting Recovery:  From Childhood to Grandparenthood”.  It features Dr Steven Wolin and Dr Tian Dayton, both Board Members at NACoA.  It is a discussion about the various issues that impact recovery in families over generations and is an opportunity for individuals and families to develop a deeper understanding some of these issues.  It is a good learning tool for everyone, including people who want to develop a deeper understanding of addiction and the family.  We can all help continue the healing if we learn how to speak up.

Shared in celebration of Children of Alcoholics Week in Boston by COASA, a program of Robert F Kennedy Children’s Action Corps.

Maureen McGlame, Director