How Parents Addictions Affect Their Kids
Kids who have drug-addicted parents will undeniably suffer immensely, experiencing a wide range of serious issues later on in life as a direct result. When a child witnesses his or her mother or father suffering at the hands of a severe substance abuse disorder, an emotional, psychological and sometimes physical impact will undeniably occur. Children who are directly affected by drug abuse early on in life often go on to experience serious mental health conditions – including substance abuse and addiction.
Treatment for Drug-Addicted Parents
Children might feel partially responsible, internalizing the drug abuse as their issue and feeling an immense amount of stress and anxiety as a direct result. They might constantly fear for their parents’ well-being, rendering them unable to concentrate at school. They might feel as if they have to care for their parents, leaving them to neglect extracurricular activities and time spent with friends. When children feel as if they have to “parent” their parents, they are forced to grow up quickly and are left with very little time to enjoy their childhood. If you are a parent and believe that you are only hurting yourself – think again. If you are a child and your parent has been abusing drugs or alcohol for any length of time, there are steps you can take to help your mother or father get admitted into a clinical program of addiction recovery.
Helping an Addicted Parent
If you have been living with a parent who has been abusing drugs or alcohol, you know just how devastating and overwhelming the situation can be. Someone who you are meant to look up to and learn from repeatedly lets you down, failing to fulfill his or her parental obligations. Rather than taking advantage of the developmental opportunities that other children have, the children of addicted parents are left with no direction and an overwhelming amount of personal responsibility. How do you help an addicted parent and break free of the vicious cycle, you seem to be stuck in? There are several steps you can take, including:
- If you are still in school, talk with a trusted guidance counselor who might be able to offer you some insight and point you in the right direction.
- Call up a drug and alcohol rehab in your immediate area (one that is both licensed and accredited, like Agape Treatment Center), and ask them what you can do to help your mother or father.
- Talk with a close relative that you trust – one that knows your mother or father exceptionally well. Tell them what you have been experiencing and let them know that you could use some extra support during this trying time.
- Attend a support group designed for the children of individuals who are struggling with drug abuse. Al-Anon is a very good option.
- If your mother or father is struggling with a mild addiction and is not intoxicated all of the time, try to catch them during a time when they are completely sober and have a calm conversation. Never accuse, blame, or raise your voice. Explain how addiction is hurting you calmly and respectfully.
Agape Treatment Center – A Family Program
Agape Treatment Center provides men and women of all ages with the opportunity to heal comprehensively and permanently. If one of your parents has been struggling with drug addiction and needs help to stop, please feel free to give us a call today. We will gladly put you in touch with one of our trained and highly experienced interventionists, who will help you stage a professional intervention if it is decided that is the best step to take moving forward. If you are simply looking for additional support or resources, give us a call and our treatment advisors will help you in any way that they can.
We understand just how difficult it can be to watch a loved one suffer at the hands of drug addiction – if your loved one happens to be your parent, things become even trickier. Fortunately, there is help available. Our comprehensive and individualized program of recovery focuses on restoring healthy family dynamics so that both you and your parents can live the life you both deserve.