Children Living With Parents With Addiction
As children, we look to our parents and caregivers for unconditional support from the time we are infants through our adulthood. But some parents can’t provide that support because they’re dealing with a drug or alcohol addiction.
It’s no secret that addiction ruins lives. The impact of addiction reverberates in every part of society, across cultures, socioeconomic levels, and age groups. When parents become addicted to drugs and alcohol, it impacts their physical and emotional health, behavior’s, and ability to effectively parent their kids. Many children live in a home with a parent who is addicted to drugs or alcohol. Parental substance abuse severely impacts children’s health and development; it establishes an unspoken understanding of the role substances play in being an adult.
Children living in homes where there is parental substance abuse can find life difficult, unpredictable, and confusing. Sometimes they even believe the alcohol or drug abuse is their fault. Dealing with this chaos and unpredictability can leave kids feeling insecure and uncertain. Additionally, they may receive inconsistent messages from their parents. As a result, children can feel guilt and shame trying to keep the family’s “secrets.” And they often feel abandoned due to the emotional unavailability of their parents. Addicted parents ruin their lives as well as affecting the lives of their children.
The effects of parental substance abuse are two-fold: children are exposed to drugs and alcohol, and their parents are unequipped to provide the basic physical, psychological and emotional care they need. Genetic and environmental reasons can make children, who grow up in this kind of environment, more likely to develop anxiety or depression in adolescence, use alcohol or drugs earlier, become a part of the foster care system and the parental substance abuse can lead to lifelong problems if a child doesn’t receive the support they need early on. Once children reach adulthood, they are more likely to seek mental health treatment for anxiety or depression, struggle with parenting their own children and have marital problems.
First of all, parents should stay away from drugs and if they are intoxicated, they should at least not do it in front of the children. It is a disaster in the making and such activities not only ruin the lives of the parents, destroy the family balance, rob the children of their due love and affection but also set a lifelong trouble rolling.
The writer is BSc Student from Govt Degree College Bhaderwah. [email protected]