There are many reasons to break your cycle of addiction. By deciding to stop using, you begin to prioritize your own well-being and health. For many addicts, this decision can affect their friends and family, but the most impacted by this decision are often an addict’s children.
Many people forget that drug addiction can have a significant impact on the children of addicts, especially when the signs and symptoms of the addiction are hidden and the children are still in the care of their addicted parent. When treatment for their addiction is not prioritized, children can be put in a desperate situation where their mental and physical health is jeopardized.
Effects of Parental Drug Use on Children
Children whose parent is addicted to drugs could be exposed to a wide range of horrific effects that could negatively affect their well-being. Children of addicts often fall victim to parental abuse or neglect. Household resources are often limited, which means that a child might go without clothing or food and struggle to secure basic necessities as a result of their parent’s choices.
How Addicted Parents Can Harm Their Children
Parents who abuse substances might fail to fulfill parental obligations both at work and home. They might not be bringing in income for long periods of time and might not provide the essential resources their children need to thrive and survive. With their energy focused on their addictions, these parents can even entirely forget about their children while using, potentially placing them in danger.
Various types of drugs could have a massive impact on a parent’s ability to follow through with their parental responsibilities. For instance, a parent who is addicted to alcohol could forget or neglect to make sure their children attend school or that they are cared for. As the addict transitions from the highs of their addictions to the lows, sudden mood swings can create an uncomfortable a scary environment where children worry for their safety.
Growing Up Too Fast
In the absence of a strong parental figured, a child of a parent who has been consumed by drug addiction could take on a parental role. As their parent continues to neglect them, they may begin to take on responsibilities that their parent is no longer fulfilling.
Alternatively, they may choose to go down the same path as their parent. After a lifetime of being exposed to addiction and the lifestyle it creates, a child may decide that this behavior is normal and recreate the cycle themselves. Children of parents who are addicted to drugs have as much as a 79% chance of becoming drug users themselves.
There is a genuine fear that a child could blame themselves for their parent’s drug addiction. They may begin to believe that if they just tried harder, got better grades, or kept the home cleaner, then their parent would become the parent they wish they were. The child is never to blame for their parent’s addiction, but this mindset can have a significant impact on them for the rest of their lives.
Help Managing Your Addiction
It can be scary to face your addiction, even if you know that your children could suffer due to your choices. At Broadway Treatment Center, we can help you get back on track so that you can continue to play a healthy role in your family’s life and build successful, happy relationships.
With the life skills training and the unique recovery services offered through our program, you can begin to build a better, healthier future. As you and your family go through this challenging time, you are not alone. Contact us at (714) 443-8218 to find out what you can do to protect your family.