It’s no surprise that individuals who are suffering from addiction can experience detrimental changes in their lives. Such shifts can be either temporary or permanent and they can affect different facets of an individual’s way of living, including health, family, relationships, employment, finances, and more. The effects worsen as reliance on the substance continues to increase. This then goes so far that it affects people far apart from the user–and children are particularly the most vulnerable to its devastating effects. Thus, it can become an excellent indicator of a young person’s future risk of drug abuse and mental illness. Moreover, they are more likely to be victims of child abuse or to be involved with child welfare services than other children. More specifically, here are several ways in which children may be impacted by addictive behaviors:
Subjected to Abusive Household
Substance-dependent parents are three times more likely to engage in physical or sexual abuse of their children, as reported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. This is because those with substance use disorder (SUD) are more likely to exhibit unacceptable behavior such as irrational anger and hostility. Under the influence, they also tend to act erratically, resulting in destructive outbursts at individuals they care about most. According to the American Addiction Center, domestic violence is more likely to develop in homes where at least one family member has a substance use disorder. Additionally, according to the data, drug consumption is a contributing factor in the maltreatment of 80% of children.
Moreover, those struggling with addiction often exhibit increased sexual aggression. A large proportion (41%) of the women and (11%) of the men in a study of teenage opioid users reported being coerced into sexual activity against their will while under the influence of the drug use.
Risk of Substance Use Disorder in the Future
One in five children has a parent with a substance abuse disorder, according to a report in Psychology Today. And it’s been shown that kids whose parents have substance abuse problems are more likely to also struggle with substance abuse problems later in life.This is so because children are like little sponges; they soak up information quickly and easily. Their minds have a tendency for soaking up information from all sources. And they have a propensity to mimic the behavior they observe in their elders.
Risk of Failure
Substance dependence can cause a parent to withdraw emotionally, cognitively, and physically from their children. If children aren’t provided with adequate direction and support from their elders, they are more likely to struggle in life. People with opioid use disorder, for instance, can spend all of their resources on obtaining the opioids they require. This means they will be unable to afford the most fundamental requirements of their families, such as providing enough nutrition, clothing, and shelter.
School dropout is another common illustration. Children of parents with SUD often grow up in homes where constant turmoil and fear reign. Without parental encouragement and support, these kids are more likely to struggle academically. They lack positive adult examples to guide them through challenging tasks or encourage them to persevere in the face of adversity.
Furthermore, there is no one in the home who is emotionally and mentally available to educate children about discipline, thus children of parents with SUD may not learn to respect authority.
Experience Developmental Delays
Substance misuse in parents may have devastating impacts on their children. Those who are pregnant and have SUD may attest to the truth of this statement. Physical deformities, malformation of essential organs, stunted development, and mental, attachment or attention issues are all potential outcomes of the substance’s exposure to unborn children.
However, if a parent’s substance dependence problems still persist even after the birth of their child, that parent may not be able to provide a stable environment for the child. They are also unable to provide a safe and supportive home life for their kids, which is essential for their development as whole people. And since the parent with SUD is likely not in their right mind to take care of housekeeping duties, they may be living in unclean circumstances. This puts the kid at risk of being sick or hurt.
Struggle with Mental Health Problems
Substance abuse in the home can lead to the onset of a wide range of mental health problems in children. The reason for this is because the welfare of the kid is not a priority for the absent family member. This will then make the kids feel unloved and abandoned. Moreover, the children’s capacity to form healthy attachments to others, are negatively affected when they are raised in a household where neglect is commonplace and drug misuse is prioritized.
Family members who are also battling with substance dependence sometimes suffer from mental health problems too.That’s why they often have less time and energy to devote to their kids.This leaves the youngster more susceptible to the negative effects of stress, sadness, anxiety, trauma, and so on. In addition, they may have difficulty establishing boundaries, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation.
Living with a family member who has a drug abuse problem can be challenging enough. But if their parents are usually intoxicated, it’s no wonder their children are neglected and lack proper care and direction. Because of their increased susceptibility, these youngsters are often the first to suffer the consequences of drug or alcohol use. That’s why it’s crucial for young kids and their loved ones with SUD to have the support of mental health specialists, who can assist them through their challenges and contribute to their healthy growth.
However, due to the potential costs associated with doing so, professional assistance is often avoided. Thankfully, with the development of technology, smartphone apps like Confidant Health have emerged to give medication-assisted treatment in the convenience of your own home. Confidant Health may come up in search engine results for someone in Atlanta, Georgia who is looking for a suboxone clinic atlanta.