You can watch almost any local news program these days and see stories of parents who harm their children because of their drug or alcohol addiction. Some cases are of minor child neglect, but some involve serious harm and even death to the child. Parents who are addicts are unable to parent effectively because they are wrapped up in their own addiction.
The consequences a child suffers because of their parent’s substance abuse problem can range from neglect and abuse that can affect their physical well being to psychological effects that damage their emotional and mental development. Let’s take a look at what can happen to a child when a parent has a substance abuse problem. If you, or someone you love and care about needs alcohol and drug treatment in Raleigh NC, call Legacy for help.
From the time a child is born, if a parent uses drugs they are harming the health of their child. Birth defects and hindered development can occur if a mother uses drugs or drinks while pregnant. When the baby is born, it is likely he or she will have problems with motor skills and cognitive development. Older children can also develop health problems caused by stress from worrying about or taking care of their parents.
Instances of child neglect due to a parent’s substance abuse problem are becoming more prevalent according to data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. Children who are neglected don’t get the basics they need, such as nutritious food and routine healthcare.
Children of addicts are less likely to receive the emotional support they need. They may feel a lack of security and blame themselves for their parents’ problems. They may cope with these feelings by engaging in negative behaviors such as fighting or acting out at school.
A child of an addict may live in a constant state of fear because the home environment is not stable. They may be responsible for their younger siblings or for taking care of the house. The stress of taking on adult duties can cause them to become resentful and angry. It can lead to anxiety and depression. As they get older, they may turn to drugs and alcohol themselves in order to cope.
Children in homes where a parent has an addiction problem are more likely to be physically or sexually abused, either by the parent, another family member, or a friend, which causes extensive psychological damage to a child.
A child of someone with an addiction problem will likely have difficulty in school. If they were exposed to drugs before they were born, it’s likely they will have learning disabilities. They may go to school later than their peers because they were not enrolled on time. They may worry so much about their parents and home life that they can’t concentrate when they’re in school. Kids who have to take on more responsibility at home due to their parents’ drug use may not keep up with homework because they simply don’t have time. Once they get behind their peers, they may feel like they can’t catch up, so they may eventually drop out.
There are many other consequences a child suffers when he or she has a parent with a substance abuse problem. It may seem like they are caught in an endless cycle of addiction, but the pattern can be broken. Some children are able to get help outside of the home so that they can reverse these consequences and break the cycle.
Dependable Alcohol and Drug Treatment in Raleigh NC
Is your drug or alcohol use becoming a problem and affecting your parental duties? If you’re ready to seek help, give us a call at Legacy Raleigh. We’re here to help you learn to lead a life of sobriety. We include family and loved ones with our alcohol and drug treatment in Raleigh NC so that you can heal all aspects of your life that may have been affected by your drug or alcohol use. Please, call today.