Alcohol for celebrations, socialization & self-medication

Karen Khaleghi, PhD, discusses how the way alcohol is used in our society models bad behavior for our kids
Family and Parenting Tips | How the way we use alcohol for celebration, socialization and self-medication affects our kids
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Alcohol for celebrations, socialization & self-medication

I think that social modeling, parental modeling, societal modeling are essential to understand when you're talking to children and understanding your children in terms of addiction and how it develops. One of the talks that I frequently give is the formation of substance use and abuse, and I point out the issues of modeling. You have a culture today that's existed for many years that uses drugs and alcohol to socialize, to celebrate and to self-medicate. Now when I say socialize, how often, I ask parents to think about it, how often do they say to one another, to friends, and usually within an earshot of a child or most frequently, "It's been a great week. Let's go out and get a drink." How often do you have a dinner party when the blender is going or the wine is selected? When we look at celebration, we look at how our culture teaches our children to celebrate. So when we do that, we're teaching our children that that's how you take the social edge off. That's how you ease into relating to each other. Teenagers, kids have the same social anxiety as parents, they just have less tools to deal with it. So if their modeling has been that this is what you do in a social situation then they're going to drink. We self-medicate. And I ask parents to take a look at TV, pick 2 nights of the week and view your programs. And I want you to take note of the number of times that you see alcohol consumed, just in the passing of a story. And then pay attention tot he ads that are on TV and think about how many times you see pharmaceuticals ads. What are we teaching our children as a culture? What we're teaching them is you can take a pill or you can have a drink to deal with whatever ails you. That's the modeling that goes on.

Karen Khaleghi, PhD, discusses how the way alcohol is used in our society models bad behavior for our kids


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Karen Khaleghi, PhD

Co-founder of Creative Care Malibu

Dr. Karen Khaleghi is a pioneer in the field of dual diagnosis, or co-occurring drug and alcohol addiction along with mental health disorders. As one of the co-founders of Creative Care in Malibu and co-author of The Anatomy of Addiction, Dr. Karen speaks to parents and organizations about the formation of addiction, the critical aspects of nature and nurture and the resulting disconnection between emotions and behavior as well as the genesis of addiction and the path to recovery, a process she calls "connecting the dots." 

There are many things that set Dr. Karen Khaleghi apart from others including her individualized treatment approaches and excellent treatment facility Creative Care which is filled with clinical staff comprised of professionals that offer the highest standard of care in the industry. Karen graduated from California Graduate Institute with her Ph.D in 1989 and lives in Los Angeles, CA with her loving husband and children. Dr. Karen Khaleghi has been featured on The Today Show, KCAL 9, Dr. Phil and many others!


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