The Seven C’s: Helping kids cope with addiction

Author Dr. Claudia Black

Many children who grow up with addiction in their family feel responsible for their family member’s substance use disorder.  They often say things like “If I didn’t laugh so loud or didn’t fight with my siblings, my mom or dad wouldn’t use drugs or alcohol.” 

The first half of the 7 C’s stress that children are not responsible for the family member’s substance use or misuse.  The remaining 7 C’s focus on healthy coping skills such communicating feelings and the importance of self-care.  These are important messages that are woven into the activities at each Camp Mariposa weekend.

Each child who attends Camp Mariposa receives a lanyard with a laminated copy of the 7 C’s card.  Children refer to the card throughout the camp weekend.  Many children also receive a laminated copy of the card to take home and use as a reminder in between camp weekends.  If you know a child who lives with a family member who struggles with a substance use disorder, you can print out the attached 7 C’s card and share it with them.  

I didn't CAUSE it

I can't CONTROL it

I can't CURE it


I can take CARE of myself

By COMMUNICATING my feelings

making good CHOICES and 




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