Exposure for children to drugs or alcohol can be considered a form of trauma. This may impact their development over the lifespan. After birth, exposure to a volatile environment can cause suffering to their psychological and physical well-being. Even when parents with addiction are not physically or emotionally abusive, drug addiction can take a toll on them from birth on up until they are teens. Beyond that, their adulthood can be impacted by the drug use of family members, not just use that impacted them before birth.
Facts About Children
Children look at their role models and hear what they say. They do what they do because that is what they see and think that is what they should do. Children of people with addiction often emulate negative behaviors and risk developing addictions, themselves. The seriousness of the addiction is partnered with sobering facts about what can happen when they are exposed:
- Children of parents or family with addiction are three to four times more likely to become addicted than others
- Prenatal exposure increases the likelihood of abuse, neglect, or addiction later in life
- Mental health issues increase for kids exposed to drugs or alcohol
- Children of the family with addiction may experience stress-related issues, including asthma and other conditions
Caregiving for Children with Addiction
When a loved one makes the choice to attend rehab, it impacts the whole family. Even if it is for their benefit, children will need to care for while they get the help they need. Children with parents who have an addiction are more likely to seek support for mental health issues and addiction later in life. A nurturing environment will help the child develop better social skills and decrease the odds of developing substance use and addiction disorders as a teen. Finding responsible family members to care for loved ones’ kids with addiction is key to making sure the kids are safe and cared for properly. This means:
- Balancing childcare with other responsibilities
- Sharing it with others in the family
- Ask the loved one to give a plan that will help keep children safe and cared for
- Provide therapeutic support by finding groups or help for children and family while in rehab
- Children with emotional problems that come from the parent’s addiction may need intervention to keep them from developing further issues
Supporting a loved one with children means making sure the children are safe. Family therapy is often a helpful way to include children in the process and improve the confidence and self-esteem of the loved one in rehab. Knowing their family supports them is key to growing healthy in recovery and making sure they break the chains of addiction, starting with their family.
The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Nature is an important component of recovery and healing. We strive to provide a place of enrichment that cultivates the inner as well as the outer journey of recovery. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.