Parental substance abuse can be created by many factors. Maybe you could never quite break yourself of your habit from back when you were young and single, and it’s just gotten worse over the years. Or perhaps the stress of trying to make ends meet and give your kids the best life possible caused you to turn to drugs or alcohol for solace. Whatever your story is, you know how it has to end: both for yourself and for your kids, you need to stop depending on substances.
Parental Substance Abuse: Effect on the Children
Parental substance abuse problems aren’t just hurting the parents, they’re hurting their families, and possibly friends and their community. It is widely accepted that alcohol and drug abuse negatively impact more than just the user, and children of addicts may seriously suffer as a result.An adult has a choice with regard to abusing substances or not. But because kids live under the same roof as you, they have no choice but to endure the ups and downs you go through due to your addiction.
Parental Substance Abuse Behaviors
Parents with substance abuse problems are often more violent, emotional, forgetful, and due to their substance of choice, and this can harm children in a number of long-lasting ways. Jealousy, verbal and physical abuse, infidelity, conflict, and divorce all rise markedly when drugs or alcohol are being abused, and can even be very risky when it comes to just driving them to school while under the influence. In addition, numerous studies have shown that children who see this behavior are more likely to repeat your behaviors as adults, thus perpetuating a vicious cycle, so the long-term effects of these habits cannot be ignored.In any event, drugs and alcohol, not to mention cigarettes, can make the home a very unsafe place for kids. When substance abuse rears its ugly head, it’s time to take a stand.
Programs for Parental Substance Abuse
There are many supportive and effective programs for parents with substance abuse problems, among them Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has a vast array of information on drug and alcohol abuse and is a comprehensive resource for information and treatment programs.
Treatment centers which specialize in women’s rehab may be appropriate for those dealing with Maternal substance abuse. Treatment programs designed specifically with women’s needs in mind can be an effective form of treatment for females struggling with addiction.Very effective programs also exist to protect children growing up in an abusive environment. The National Council on Child Abuse & Family Violence (NCCAFV) is a great place to start. It gives you the tools and information you need to stop you from lashing out when you’re in an altered state.
There are in excess of six million children living in the United States who live with at least one parent with substance abuse problems. (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services) That’s six million too many. Don’t let your child be one of them. If you know you have a problem with parental substance abuse, seek treatment, not only for yourself, but for those around you that you love.
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