According to the information posted on the official website of Child Welfare Information Gateway, around 9% of children in the US live in families where at least one parent abuses alcohol or other drugs. Drug and alcohol abuse doesn’t just pose a grave threat to the health of the addicted person but also affects the overall well-being of the whole family. A drug addicted parent, knowingly or unknowingly, can cause serious harm to children. The impressionable minds of young children are vulnerable to damage that can seriously affect their future life.
Parental drug and alcohol abuse can affect the health of children in more than one way-
- Domestic violence
Even though no conclusive link has been established between parental drug abuse and domestic violence, many such cases are reported in families where one of the parents abuse drugs or alcohol. Domestic violence can hamper the overall development of children. It can cause physical harm and mental disorders among children. It can also lead to personality disorders and make children alienated and lonely.
Once again, there is no conclusive proof, but it has been observed that children belonging to those families in which any of the parents abuse drugs or alcohol are more likely to commit crimes. It could be lack of love and appreciation or absence of parental guidance that drives children towards crimes. It has been seen that there is a lack of communication in such families that makes children indulge in unlawful behavior.
- Academic performance
Domestic violence and a tense home environment affect the academic performance of children living with drug addicted parents. In the absence of motivation and support, children find it hard to cope with academic pressure. This is reflected in the poor grades they get in school.
- Economic condition
Drug and alcohol abuse can lead to the deterioration of economic conditions of a family. Drug abuse also affects productivity of parents and may ruin their career. Financial hardships can make life more difficult for children living with drug addict or alcoholic parents.
All these factors may negatively affect the growth and development of children. It can leave emotional scars that may not heal. For this reason, it’s important for parents who abuse drugs and alcohol to overcome their addictions. This is essential to ensure that the right growing environment is provided to children. People struggling to overcome drug addiction may also seek professional medical help. Drug treatment programs offered by rehabilitation centers may prove to be immensely helpful in this regard. More information is available, Click Here.