Regardless of what words you use to describe addiction or alcoholism, its effects on friends, family, and others are often upsetting to witness. The psychological, spiritual, and physical dimensions of addiction give the abuser a sort of tunnel vision. That means they will spare no expense in keeping their habits going – even if that means putting their children on the back burner.
One out of five children in the United States of America lives in a home with a parental guardian who is an alcoholic or a drug addict. When kids observe their parents suffering from addiction during their developmental years, it can influence them forever. One of the most crucial and heartbreaking changes you will ever experience as a parent is that your kid will never look at you the same.
After all, children look up to their parents as role models. So if you’re an addict or the spouse of an addict, it is crucial to understand how addiction affects kids. It is also vital to note that every family situation is different. Your child may get influenced uniquely.
This article will examine how drug addiction can influence a parent’s connection with their kid(s) while damaging them internally.
The loss of trust
Never in a million years has an addict ever followed through with their promises or arguments, which further restrains their relationship with their kids. However, it is worth noting that most addicts usually mean to honor their pledges. Still, the side-effects of substance abuse make them unable to.
As a result, they end up losing everything – including their children’s trust. They are also likely to forget about the promises they make to their kids. If this becomes a habit, the kid will have difficulty connecting with other people since they are afraid to trust. This loss of trust often results in dysfunctional children.
Thankfully, those suffering from any form of addiction can seek help by contacting a rehabilitation center. The Delphi Behavioral Health Group has been helping families in California and beyond make successful recoveries from substance abuse. Call them now and receive individualized treatment, advice, and support for all levels of addiction.
Confusion & Fear
Substance abuse usually makes a person unpredictable. You never know how they will respond to a situation. In a bid to avoid emotional or psychological abuse, family members might begin walking on fire to pacify their addicted loved one.
Kids will become more reserved so as not to risk offending the individual. The result is a culture of confusion and fear, ensuring that the household is on thin ice and rarely has joy.
According to research, kids living with an addict resort to symptoms similar to children who have been physically tormented. Often, they assume the role of the parent and take on too much responsibility on their shoulders.
Parents with an addiction problem can be very critical of everything a kid does. Consequently, they become overly responsible in their professional and personal lives to avoid being criticized. They may also become attention seekers and work hard for approval. At times, these traits can be controllable. Other times, children may act out in irresponsible or peculiar ways and at the wrong times.
Growing up in a home with a parent suffering from substance abuse leaves a kid at higher risk for mental health disorders, disabilities, and behavioral problems. They skip school more often. As a result, they struggle to keep their grades up and are more likely to get in trouble.
They blame themselves
By now, it’s pretty clear to understand that children often get dreaded by their parent’s substance abuse and may blame themselves for their parent’s actions. They may feel responsible for everything. Children learn what they see. Watching their parents’ addiction significantly increases the risk they will become addicts themselves.
Children of drug addicts or alcoholics are nearly five times more likely to suffer from a disorder. This massive risk begins during the teen years and follows into adulthood. In simpler words, they often grow up to become like their parents – addicts.
For kids of addicted parents, the physical side effects often begin before they are even born. An apparent example is if the mother is using drugs while pregnant. The impact of drug abuse during pregnancy will result in:
- Physical defects
- Attention or attention disorders
- Stunted growth
- Malformation of vital organs
If parents are not careful, children can also develop anxiety-based illnesses, such as migraines or asthma. Additionally, parents can lose their sense of morals while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and can cause physical, sexual, or verbal abuse. As a result, children may develop deep depression, leading to various self-harming behaviors such as suicide attempts or cutting.
You see, addiction can destroy families – and more importantly, ruin children in every possible way. So if you want your kids not to resent you, stop killing yourself with alcoholism and drug abuse and be a better parent. Fortunately, many programs for families and spouses are available. You can reach out to these groups and gain the strength you need to make both your life and that of your kids healthier and more stable.