Adult Children of Alcoholics is an organization that is intended to provide a forum to individuals who desire to recover from the effects of growing up in an alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional family. ACOA (ACA) membership has few formal requirements.
The term "adult child" is used to describe adults who grew up in alcoholic or dysfunctional homes and who exhibit identifiable traits that reveal past abuse or neglect. The group includes adults raised in homes without the presence of alcohol or drugs. These ACOA members have the trademark presence of abuse, shame, and abandonment found in alcoholic homes.