Children of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

April 3, 2008

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Perhaps the only people who are in a more difficult situation regarding substance abuse than the addicts themselves are their children. Growing up with a parent who had an addiction to drugs or alcohol can create serious problems in the child’s life, and it usually does.

From emotional and behavioral problems to substance abuse, there is nothing desirable about having an addicted parent.Studies show that these children are more likely to develop an addiction themselves as they get older. This happens as a result of both genetic and environmental factors. They begin to emulate the way that their parents dealt with stress, sometimes at a very young age. In a household with drug and alcohol addiction, the kids also have easier access to try these substances again and again. They are more curious about them because they see their parents using them. Less often, the child develops a strong aversion to drugs and alcohol rather than being drawn to them. They have seen the severe consequences of addiction, and do everything they can to avoid these substances in their teen and adult life.

Children of parents with an addiction often have emotional and psychological problems that need to be dealt with in counseling. It is common for them to blame themselves for the situation, feeling that they were not good enough to convince their parent to stop using. They feel abandoned and sometimes were actually neglected as a child. Unfortunately, physical, mental, and sexual abuse are also frequent issues.

The sooner a parent with alcoholism or drug addiction gets the professional help that they need from a treatment center, the better off their children will be. The effects of growing up with substance abuse are usually lasting, but they can be dealt with effectively through counseling. Addiction treatment is possible for every member of the family.

Comments

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