How Does a Parent’s Addiction Affect a Child?
Addiction is rarely limited to affecting just one individual in a family or circle of friends. Addiction is commonly linked with relationships, genetics and other surrounding influential factors. Understanding how parental addiction can affect a child is a way to gain insight into the proper method of getting help and seeking treatment for any friend or loved one in your life who may be struggling with an addiction themselves’.
Environmental and Biological Risks
Both environment and biological risks play a role in developing in an addiction in children and teens, regardless of how they may be raised or their social or financial status. Teens who are raised within households that contain parents who abuse drugs or alcohol have a much higher risk of developing an addiction of their own due to their environment exposure, especially when they have witnessed drugs and alcohol from an early age. Additionally, biological children and teens of adults who have personal struggles with abusing drugs and alcohol are also more prone to addiction themselves.
Any time a parent is addicted to drugs or alcohol, there is rarely a case where the entire family is not afflicted by the situation. Addiction causes strain between family members, and often rifts between parents and their children when an addiction grows more severe or becomes out of hand entirely. Emotional damage and psychological stress can cause teens and children of parents who are addicted to using drugs and alcohol to turn to using themselves. Additionally, behaviors may slowly change when a teen or child is experiencing emotional trauma from their parental figures’ behavior and use of drugs and alcohol regularly.
Teens and children of parental addiction may struggle with completing classwork or even attending classes altogether. They may become to suffer from emotional distress and depression, becoming socially withdrawn or despondent. Eating disorders may be triggered by an addiction a parent is dealing with, including binge eating along with anorexia and bulimia. When a teen or child is suffering emotionally due to their parents’ behavior when using drugs and alcohol, this can cause additional emotional strain and struggle on their everyday life, often resulting in the need for counseling or therapy.
Seeking Help and Treatment
Seeking help for a parent who is facing addiction is possible with both local and online resources and treatment facility centers. It is possible to find both inpatient and outpatient centers that provide the addiction treatment necessary to overcome a wide range of addiction, including over-the-counter medications and prescriptions, to illicit street drugs and alcohol.
Inpatient rehab facility treatments allow parents to live within a treatment facility itself throughout the entire duration of the rehab program often lasting anywhere from 28 days to more than 6 months, varying with each patient and the type of addiction they are struggling to overcome.
Parental addiction is not the only type of addiction that can influence others surrounding individuals, as friends and colleagues also have this power. However, if you know a parent who is suffering from addiction, offering them support and guidance through the process of seeking assistance and getting treatment is highly recommended to get them the help they need to reduce the chances of affecting their teens even further in the future due to consequences of their own addictions.