The US is now realizing the extent of how addiction affects families, which is why treatment experts emphasize the need for treating the entire family. The strain of alcohol and drug abuse wrecks many peaceful, loving homes. Conflicts are bound to erupt as trust begins to erode between family members. Addiction affects all family members, including relatives and friends.
The Impact of Addiction on Young Children
According to statistics, about 20% of children in the US grow up in a home where they witness a parent abusing alcohol or drugs. The trauma caused by the addiction can have a long-term effect on the children, especially if they’re young. Children growing up in such a home are at a higher risk of developing substance use disorder in adulthood.
Furthermore, young children are more likely to be neglected or abused (both physically and sexually). Seeing a parent intoxicated often creates grief, which consequently leads to a delay in development and learning.
Children are still developing their personalities; thus, they’re vulnerable to external influences from family members and it’s important to understand how addiction affects families. They are at risk of repeating the same behavior. In extreme cases, the children are taken away by social workers and placed in foster care.
How Parent Addiction Affects Teenagers
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), underage drinkers use more alcohol than their adult counterparts. About 19% of teens drink alcohol regularly, but marijuana use is more prevalent than cigarette smoking. Other drugs popularly abused include cocaine, heroin, prescription medication, and synthetic opioids. Many learn the habit from their parents who are addicted, but the peer pressure in schools also tempts teens to try new, dangerous drugs.
The synthetic drugs provide more euphoric effects, but require regular use and have severe side effects. The addiction causes untold suffering to the family, including:
- Reckless behavior at home and school
- Stealing money from family members to support the habit
- Running away from home
- Causing grief to the parents
- Exposure to other drugs
- Strained relationships
How Addiction Affects Families & How to Reestablish Connections
Teens with a history of abuse are more likely to continue with the habit. In college, the person will develop a tolerance for the drug while partying with new friends. Many young adults spiral downwards and start to indulge in criminal activities such as property damage, aggression, and sexual assault. The cycle continues when the person becomes an adult with a family and then repeats what he or she saw happening while growing up.
Substance abuse can take a toll on the strongest of family members, but the good news is that help is available. Experts recommend the best facilities which will focus on the needs of the entire family, not just the addict. These facilities approach the problem holistically through a variety of programs, such as:
All in all, rehab facilities will teach you how addiction affects families and guide you on the best according to your needs. As a parent, don’t let addiction control your life and put a strain on your family. You can overcome addiction by going to an accredited drug rehab facility. Contact us at 855.298.3104 to start your journey to recovery.