How Addiction Affects Children. What is Addiction?
How Addiction Affects Children – Addiction is a term that is thrown around commonly these days. Addiction is the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity. In relation to drugs, addiction is the need or desire to use an illegal or legal substance to alter your mental state. This is related to prescription medications, illegal drugs, altering behaviors, and even legal substances used in the wrong way. Addiction alters every aspect of life. It takes control and your surroundings or behaviors are altered in order to feed the addiction.
Addiction also affects people, not just the addict, but their family, friends, and community as a whole. Addiction can alter both the good and bad parts of life, as well as everything in between. The good news is that addiction does not have to be a life long problem. If you or someone you know has an addiction then help is available. You deserve the best and DARA can offer to improve your life and help you beat addiction.
Drug addiction is problematic for anyone that is using. For those who are using and are also parents, the problem is even worse. When parents have substance abuse issues, it’s often the main cause how addiction affects children. Children of addicts are also at a much higher risk of using themselves. Both due to the genetic component of addictive behaviors and because they have seen the parents use over time.
Even if children do not start using, they are at a higher risk for abuse and neglect. Their parents addiction can lead to time spent using instead of caring for the children. Even lack of money due to paying for their habits. In relation to a higher chance of abuse and neglect, children of addicts are more likely to spend time in foster care. Even having the parent’s lose custody due to addiction.
Children Affected by their Parents Addiction
Even if you are home physically with the children, they can experience psychological or emotional absence when you are using. This may lead to other types of abuse or neglect. You may have even left your children with someone else who could have caused abuse. Though the children may not show the emotions as adults would, they are often left feeling scared, confused, worried, and saddened by a parent’s addiction. Addiction affects children who are in this situation may not have been taught proper self care growing up and may struggle with basic skills. Including social, grooming, and health skills.
Many children also display a distrust of authority figures or feel a need to be in control of everything to bring some normalcy into their lives. These behaviors may continue many years into adulthood. The child of an addict must often do whatever is necessary to learn to survive and these behaviors will need to be addressed by a professional.
If you are a parent or even have a parent that is an addict, seek help. Rehabs are available to help addicts of all types and ages to stop using, but there are also organizations that help the children of addicts to address feelings and behaviors that may have come about due to parental addiction. There is no shame in asking for help, both you and your children deserve a better life.
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