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Impact of substance abuse on children

12-22 | By CSAA Team

Impact of substance abuse on children

Overindulgence in addictive substances can have a terrifying effect on a person’s life, including his/her relationships. Due to an increase in the rate of substance abuse or drug addiction, a number of noteworthy changes have been witnessed lately in the dynamics of relationships among the American population.

Especially when it comes to children, every stage of their development is disrupted by the addiction problem of one or both parents. Children raised by addicted parents are subject to negligence or emotional abuse, or even physical abuse, and are often compelled to take care of themselves. As a result, there has been a significant increase in the number of grandparents raising their grandchildren as parents who are addicted cannot provide a stable and positive environment to their kids.

Children of parents who abuse substances suffer from neglect and loneliness

According to a recent study, 2.5 million children were living with their grandparents in 2005, which increased to 2.9 in 2015. Due to neglect and abandonment of children by their parents, grandparents are often forced to take care of their grandchildren. However, in case the grandparents fail to take care of the children, they are relocated to foster care homes to avoid any deprivation and abuse.

It has been commonly observed that children of alcoholics or substance abusers, who go through the tragic phase of neglect and abandonment, suffer from loneliness, as well as run the risk of developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol. But, when such a responsibility is assigned to grandparents without their consent, they may have to go through unimaginable emotional turmoil and financial challenges. The absence of adequate support from both state and local resources can further exacerbate their problems. As a result, one witnesses a series of mental health disorders due to increased stress.

Increased feelings of insecurity in children

It has been largely observed that the family life of people with an addiction problem is often full of chaos, unpredictability and miscommunication. Moreover, their behavior may range from affectionate to withdrawn. As a consequence, children in such homes often feel insecure and confused due to the lack of understanding of their parent’s situation.

Precisely, when a child has a drinking parent at home or a parent who never comes home, he or she often feels angry and hurt. Due to their parent’s inability to quit substance abuse or addiction, such children often feel that their parents do not love them. In such circumstances, they mature before their age or may withdraw into their lonely world due to the deprivation of joys of childhood.

Most often, such children may display feelings of guilt or self-blame for their parent’s current situation. After witnessing unpredictability in their parent’s behavior and violence at home, they mostly grow up to be quite frightened and nervous. Such children are likely to mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Quitting substance abuse is possible

Children with parents having a substance abuse problem experience severe mental turmoil, which can lead to the risk of mental, emotional and other disorders. Numerous deaths and serious ailments occur due to drug and alcohol abuse in teens. However, help is at hand since there are many programs in effect in an attempt to reduce substance use.

In order to overcome challenges related to substance abuse, you can contact the Colorado Substance Abuse Advisors to find the best substance abuse treatment centers in Colorado. You may also call at our 24/7 substance abuse helpline number 866-300-5857 or chat online with our experts to know about various drug addiction treatment facilities in your vicinity.


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