Research by the National Institute of Drug Abuse shows that 25% of children in America grow up with substance abuse in their homes. Moreover, these experiences increase the likelihood of the child becoming an addict at some point in his adult life too. Treating substance abuse addiction in parents at the right time in the right way is very important because in case it isn’t treated, it can affect the victims and the whole family in adverse ways. Here are several to be aware of:
1) Emotional & Developmental Delays
Parents with addiction commonly neglect their children whether willingly or unwillingly. The kids are four times more likely to experience neglect than their fellow children in non-substance abuse homes. They experience speech delays, cognitive development delays, and malnutrition. Teenagers are also more vulnerable to sexual, emotional, and economical exploitation than kids in non-substance abuse homes. This is just one reason why drug rehab in Kansas City or indeed, rehab centers around the globe, are so important. They can be a major step towards getting the parent free from their addiction and thus preventing neglect and stabilizing the child’s life.
Abusing while pregnant can also cause birth defects as well. The affected newborns have a higher percentage of a short lifespan and lose or have an impaired ability to learn and function.
2) Mental Health Conditions
Parents with mental health issues who find their solace in drugs are more likely to pass on the same anxiety and depression to their children. Children who grow up in homes with substance abuse problems are more likely to be sexually, emotionally, and physically abused. Parents’ misuse of mental health medication or substance abuse is often an escape for emotional detachment or the like. Furthermore, children exposed to such medicines or drugs are at risk of poisoning and overdose, etc. These children also suffer from long-term trauma, hypervigilance, and a startled response. They are more likely to fail classes, skip school, or exhibit disruptive behavior in the longer run, as well.
3) Effects on Relationships
Children who grow up as such generally develop unhealthy or no relationships at all. Apart from the mental health issues developed, they are often unable to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy attachment and boundaries. These children not only don’t know how to have good long-term relationships, but they can also grow up without developing the feeling of remorse or empathy. This is especially the case with children who had to take the role of a surrogate parent for their younger siblings. In young toddlers, it can go as far as not bonding with the parent and developing a negative association towards healthy love. Oftentimes, little children develop anxiety because of not being held and taken care of.
In conclusion, children look up to adults for emotional, physical, and psychological support. It is unfair for them to bear the burden of drug addict parents. No matter what the reason for parents’ drug addiction, it is always wise to seek help for it and spare your family any of this uncalled-for trauma. Rehab facilities truly are there to help!
We hope this article helps you or a close one get drug addiction treatment for the sake of you, your family, and/or your children’s better mental and physical health.