Parents who are battling addictions or alcoholism suffer tremendously at the hands of these diseases. Not only are they facing great risks due to their substance abuse, but there are additional concerns as well. Maybe this is a situation you’re facing, and you need to know how you can get help.
If you’re addict, and you’re also a parent. Please know that you’re not alone. The more you can do to educate yourself, the better. We’d like to provide you with some helpful information that you will find very useful.
An addiction refers to the use of a substance or engaging in a behavior in a compulsive manner. When someone has an addiction, the substance is in charge. It’s pleasurable to use, but the negative consequences cannot be ignored. Addictions harm relationships, employment, health, and so much more.
There are two different components to addiction. There is the physical component and the psychological component. Both play a role with most substances. Addictions are hard to beat, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It can be, but only with the proper treatment.
For parents, alcohol abuse and alcoholism are the most common forms of substance abuse. Alcohol seems to be a very benign substance. It’s socially acceptable, which means almost everyone drinks. It’s very easy to obtain, and it’s legal. This makes it very popular.
The problem is that alcohol is often assumed to be safe for these reasons. Parents who are under a lot of stress may drink too much simply because it makes them feel better. Over time, they grow to depend on alcohol to get them through each day.
If you ask an alcoholic if they intended to form their addiction, of course they’ll say no. No one means to become an alcoholic. Unfortunately, when you drink excessively for a period of time, alcoholism is often the outcome.
Drug addictions occur because of the way the brain becomes flooded with dopamine when using. Excess dopamine feels good, and it’s what leads to the feeling of euphoria. However, when people experience this repeatedly, their brains stop making as much dopamine. This causes them to become reliant upon the drugs. Without them, they don’t feel good or normal.
For parents, drug addictions can occur accidentally or on purpose. Some parents may take prescription drugs for pain and become addicted to them without realizing it. Other parents may abuse illegal drugs for fun, and then form addictions.
No matter how it happens, once an addiction is in place, it’s not going away. It usually doesn’t work to try to quit using cold turkey. More often than not, people relapse with that method, and this can lead to an overdose.
Once you have a drug addiction, professional rehab is the answer. It’s the best way to get the help you need to stop using successfully.
Parents with addictions are common in the United States, and this is something we often hear about on the news or through social media sites. However, what most people don't realize is that those parents that do find themselves to be addicted to drugs or alcohol often don't want to continue living their lives that way. Quite often, they don't understand that there is a way out for them, and they feel destined to continue their lives as prisoners of their addictions.
Perhaps that is how you feel. You might be a parent who wants nothing more than to reach the goal of sobriety for your own sake as well as for the sake of your family. However, you can't escape the fact that there seems to be so many different obstacles in your path.
You know that using drugs or alcohol is negatively impacting your children, and although try to shield them from it, you know that they're experiencing the aftermath of your addiction.
Fortunately, there is something you can do to get help, but it will also benefit you to learn as much as you can about your struggles as an addicted parent. You are not alone, and there have been many other addicted parents who have found a way to overcome their addictions and live the lives they always dreamed of living. If that goal is also yours, please know it is attainable as long as you have the right information, treatment and guidance.
First, let's talk in more detail about the problem of addiction among parents, the effects that are experienced by the children, and what you can do to get the help you need from a drug rehab to recover.
A growing number of those who struggle with addictions are moms and dads, and while this has been a significant problem for quite some time, it's typical to brush the issue aside as if it's not real. However, the statistics tell us a very different story about the number of parents and children that are affected because of parental addiction.
Of these individuals, 22% of women and 42% of men chose to have three or more drinks on that occasion. Close to 30% of women and 43% of men participated in binge drinking when they drank during the past year. The vast majority of these individuals were parents.
More than 8.3 million children in the United States are currently living with someone who has an addiction to drugs or alcohol. This accounts for almost 12% of all children in the U.S. If you count the number of grandchildren who are affected by an addiction, that number can be as high as 16%. Children of alcoholics are as much as four times more likely to abuse alcohol in the future than those whose parents are not alcoholics.
A study called the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study(ACE) found that almost 27% of the participants reported a history substance abuse within their households. Close to 2/3 of all cases of alcoholism are related to adverse childhood experiences due to alcoholism in the home. The same is true for 60% of suicide attempts and half of all instances of drug use. As many as 2/3 of all child abuse and neglect cases involve some type of alcohol abuse or drug addiction.
It is clear that this is an issue that needs to be addressed. More parents need to be made aware of the type of help that is available to them for their addictions, and more needs to be done to support the families of those who struggle with addictions too.
For children who are forced to live with an addicted parent, the impact of their substance abuse problems cannot be ignored. The fact is that substance abuse of any kind leaves its scars on the life of a child, and they end up suffering from a vast amount of issues, both in the long and the short term.
Children who are exposed to drug or alcohol addiction at home tend to be much more likely to exhibit behavioral problems both at home and at school. These behavioral issues make life very difficult for parents, teachers and other caregivers. Also, children who have addicted parents are much more likely to be suffering from anxiety, depression, or another mental health condition, but many of them are not able to access the kind of treatment they need to help them.
Many children who are living in homes where addiction is a problem end up being removed from the home. As a result, they are placed within the foster care system, or some other type of placement is arranged for them. A study by the Child Welfare Information Gateway indicates that children of addicts are actually much more likely to be living in foster care or with a non-parent caregiver. While this is an excellent way to keep a child safe from the dangers of the addicted parent, quite often, it tends to give way to behavioral issues that are difficult to manage. As a result, children can be moved to many different foster care settings within a very short period of time. This does nothing to improve their senses of stability and security.
Finally, parents who drink or use drugs are much more likely to have children who do the same later on in their lives. There has been a lot of research done on the role of genetics when it comes to addiction, and there is definitely a link. Because of this connection, when a parent continues with abusing alcohol or drugs, he or she is involved with something that has the potential to impact a child's ability to finish school, go to college, get a job, or even live a good life.
Although everyone has a choice whether or not to start using a substance that could potentially lead to an addiction, research states that the development of an addiction may not be entirely within that individual's control. The risk of developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol is greatly influenced by genetics. In fact, genes are responsible for about half the risk for drug addiction and alcoholism. Still, this indicates that genetics are not the only reason why someone might be more prone to addiction.
Statistics do state that children of addicts are much more likely to grow up to be addicts themselves, but this tends to vary from child to child. For example, a child may have a genetic predisposition to becoming a diabetic, but there is more to consider than just genes. Environment and personal choices play a critical role into whether or not that child eventually is diagnosed with diabetes. The same is true for children of addicts.
All human beings have the potential to become addicts. It is a part of who we are, and it's something that's been around for a long time because of our need to survive. It is when that instinct is abused that a rewiring of the brain takes place and the individual is much more likely to become an addict later on.
In short, alcoholism and drug addiction do run in families, and there are a number of different factors in play. Genetics, environment and personal choice all play a critical role, but it's safe to say that someone who has grown up in a home with addicted parents stands a good chance of suffering from addiction themselves.
It's actually not that uncommon for many parents to be conflicted or even confused about whether or not they have an actual addiction. Maybe you can identify with that because it's exactly the way you feel. In fact, there are a lot of parents who will confuse substance abuse with substance addiction, and they don't understand that they really mean two very different things.
All of these are examples of substance abuse. Addiction is very different, and it implies that there is a definite need to use a drug or drink alcohol. Those who are only abusing substances might be at risk for developing an addiction, but there is no addiction present as of yet.
If you notice any of the above present in your own life, you most likely do have an addiction to either drugs or alcohol. The most important thing you can do is to get the right kind of professional help so that you can stop safely.
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When questioned about their willingness or ability to get help for their addictions, parents will often cite a number of different reasons why they can't. They may view these reasons as potential barriers, but most people agree that they are really just convenient excuses.
These and other excuses serve a way for parents to avoid getting the help they need, and it takes a great deal of courage to overcome any perceived challenges and do what you need to do for yourself and your family.
It's possible that you have a family member who is a parent, and you just know that addiction is a problem for this individual. He or she might not have ever said anything to you about it, but all of the signs of addiction are there. It can be so difficult to be in that situation because you're not sure what you do to help. You don't want to overstep any boundaries, but you do want your loved one to know of your concerns.
Maybe you've even tried to have a conversation about the need for substance abuse treatment, but nothing you have said has seemed to make a difference. In this case, it may be time for you to consider talking with someone about scheduling an intervention.
Intervention services are available through many drug and alcohol rehab centers, and they can be so helpful for you. Many people even agree to treatment directly afterwards.
If you are a child who has an addicted parent, it's important for you to know what you can do to get the help you need.
There are several different ways that moms and dads can get the professional help they need for their addictions. If you're concerned about going to drug or alcohol rehab, it can help you to know the various options that are available to you for treatment, and what you can expect.
No child should ever have to suffer through parental addiction, and yet, it is such a big problem in the United States. There are so many people in our country who are suffering with either drug or alcohol addictions, and most of them don't realize that there's anything they can do about it. The fact that more than 8 million children are currently living with someone who has an addiction cannot be ignored, but parents often don't really have any idea how their addictive behaviors are affecting their children. According to US News & World Report, addiction is the most neglected disease in the country.
Research has shown that approximately 40 million Americans over the age of 12 meet the clinical criteria for addiction. Also, there are about 80 million people in the United States who would be classified as risky substance users.
Many of these individuals are parents who feel as though they've completely lost control of their substance use. Their addictions consume them, and they cause them to focus internally and not on what is best for the ones they love the most.
Perhaps you can relate to this because you are also a parent who struggles with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Please rest assured that you are not alone. There are so many other parents who share in your challenges. When you have an addiction, it's so hard to see a way out of it, but please know that there is a way for you to get help.
It's possible that you haven't really given much thought to what your children are going through and the various challenges they're facing. If that's the case, it's important for you to keep reading.
The statistics surrounding the impact of addiction on children are so clear, and there are many more children who are suffering because of their parents' addiction problems than most people realize. According to Child Welfare:
Because of these statistics, it is safe to assume that there are millions of parents currently living in the United States today who suffer from some type of addiction. Children inherently lack the basic coping skills to be able to manage when they have parents who suffer from addictions, and it's not surprising that they respond in a number of different ways.
Your child loves you very much, which is why when you use drugs or alcohol, he or she immediately internalizes the fact that you're using. It's not unusual for children to think, "What have I done to cause Mom/Dad to choose drugs/alcohol over me?" While you might think that this type of thought is silly, it can form your child's reality very quickly. Children will often think that they are to blame when a parent is using drugs or alcohol on a regular basis, and as you can imagine, this can result in a great deal of fear, sadness and feelings of insecurity for them. They may start to think that if they behaved better, if they made better decisions, or if they got better grades in school that the drug or alcohol use would go away. As you can imagine, there are many children who develop anxiety because they're trying so hard to correct what they believe to be the cause of their parents' addictions.
Child abuse and neglect is a serious problem for many families when addictions are present with the parents. In fact, as many as two-thirds of all child maltreatment cases have involved some type of substance abuse on the part of the parents. This is the case for a number of different reasons. Parents will frequently spend a great amount of time searching for drugs or alcohol, and they may suffer from financial problems because of them. Parents often have to spend a lot of time recovering from hangovers or binges, and if they're going through drug or alcohol withdrawal, that leaves them with very little energy or time to care properly for their children.
As a result, children in these situations rarely have their most basic needs met. They don't have the appropriate level of supervision, and for older children, this can mean no curfews or rules about activities that might be potentially dangerous.
Sometimes people think of recovery for an addiction the same way they think of it for an illness. Recovering from a cold is much different than recovering from an addiction. When you have an addiction, it is a life-long process that is never fully complete.
In families where addiction is not a factor, children usually get used to a daily routine that helps them to feel secure. Their parents are relatively predictable and nurturing, and there are clear boundaries defined regarding certain behaviors. When addiction has taken over the life of a parent, much of this is lost, which is why children will react with difficult to manage behaviors.
In order to foster healthy development in children, they need a safe and predictable environment in which to grow up. When a parent struggles with an addiction, the home environment is anything but stable. In fact, in most cases, chaos ensues, which creates a difficult situation for children who are searching for any form of stability. For a child who has an addicted parent, instead of focusing his or her life on school or other interests, the focus is shifted onto the parent. The addiction starts to take over, and this can happen very quickly. It isn't long before substance abuse starts to dictate every facet of the child's home life.
A drug or alcohol is an all-encompassing disease that affects not only the parents, but the children as well. It sets the rules on everything; from whether or not a child is able to go and participate in certain activities at school, get involved in sports or other extra-curricular activities, attend friends' birthday parties or even get help on his or her homework.
For parents who are engaged in addictive behaviors, the legal consequences of addiction are very real. Many children are actually removed from their homes because of concerns about addicted parents. When this occurs, they are generally placed in foster care, or they're taken to family members' homes to live. This can create a problem because, although the child is safe, if he or she is experiencing behavioral issues, it's very likely that the placement won't last for very long. Kids that are difficult to manage will usually be bounced around to different placements in an effort to find the right one.
Once the court system becomes involved, the road for parents to get their children back can be a very long one. It is usually filled with quit attempts and relapses, and many kids actually end up growing up without really knowing their parents at all.
For a parent who is addicted to alcohol or drugs, one of the scariest concepts for them is that their children may end up becoming addicts themselves. Even so, this is a reality that has been repeatedly backed by scientific research. Researchers have found that there are various types of addiction genes that can be passed along within families, and this is at least a partial contributor to whether or not a child will eventually develop an addiction.
However, there are also environmental factors to consider, and the environment that you set for your child will also play an important role in his or her ability to avoid becoming addicted in the future.
Fortunately, if you are a parent who is suffering with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, whether or not you are currently getting treatment, there is a way for your child to get help as well.
Al-Anon is an organization that offers support groups to help families of those with addictions. They also have a separate department for older children and teenagers that is called Alateen. In these support group settings, members are able to come together and talk with each other to get support. This is so helpful because it gives children and other family members the ability to talk about the various challenges that they're facing in their lives because of their loved ones' addictions.
Children should also be encouraged do some other things to get help and support, and these include:
Parental substance abuse and addiction has become a very serious problem in the United States. In many cases, parents will begin using drugs or drinking as a way to relieve stress, or as a way to cope with many of the issues they face on a daily basis. They usually don't expect to become addicted, and when they do, they'll often either remain in denial for a very long time, put off getting treatment, or attempt to manage their lives in spite of their addictions.
Of course, there are legal consequences for addictions in parents, and these consequences can have a profound effect on the children in their homes. For a lot of parents, their lives feel completely out of their control, and they're not only engaged in addictive behaviors, but in other situations as well, that often contribute to the instability that children of addicts experience as a part of their lives at home.
Perhaps you're a parent with children in your home, and you have to admit that you struggle with an addiction. Drugs and alcohol have a way of completely taking over your life, despite your best efforts not to use.
You might be feeling nervous about the idea of suffering from some of the legal consequences outlined below, but at the same time, you don't see how you can remove your addiction from your life. You are not alone. There are so many other parents that feel the exact same way that you feel right now. Because you are an addicted parent, getting as much information about the potential legal consequences of your addiction as you can is vital for you.
Children are definitely impacted when their parents are participating with substance abuse or suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Children of addicts tend to suffer in a lot of different ways, including socially, physically, intellectually and emotionally. In many cases, the problems begin prior to birth, or right after a child is born.
There are many parents who attempt to stop using drugs while they are carrying a child, and once that child is born, the abuse starts back up again as if it had never stopped. In cases such as these, the early bonding stage is disrupted, and the bond between the parents and the baby are weakened from the very beginning. For example, for parents who use marijuana, their response times are often dulled and their perceptions are altered as well. This can cause them to miss important cues from their newborn babies, which can have a profound effect on them later on in their lives.
Children who are neglected in this way are not able to form secure attachments with their parents, who should be serving as their primary caregivers. This can lead to:
The earliest days of a child's life are so important, but oftentimes, addictions occur later on in his or her life as well. When this is the case, children still struggle to cope.
As children get older, the effects of parental substance abuse on them can be just as profound. They are at a very high risk for many academic, developmental and emotional problems, according to Child Welfare. In fact, they may:
These behaviors are very challenging, and they can eventually lead to caregiving that is inconsistent at best, and even multiple placements if the child must be removed from the home.
The issue of child neglect is a very real one that has many experts concerned when it comes to parents who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Parents who use will generally spend a large amount of time looking for and obtaining substances, they will spend a lot of money on purchasing what they feel they need, and they often lack the energy that it takes to properly parent their children. As a result, these children do not have their basic needs met, and they aren't properly supervised. This can put children in dangerous situations when they are young, and it can lead to delinquent behavior in older children whose parents fail to set strict guidelines and rules for them.
According to the CDC, close to 10,000 people die each year because of accidents that involved drinking and driving. However, there are so many other consequences involved with drinking as well.
In some cases, DUIs can lead to a conviction of manslaughter, and if this is the case, it's possible to lose your voting rights, your public housing benefits, any professional licenses you may have and all of your parental rights.
An alcoholic parent puts his or her child's life at risk, whether it's behind the wheel of a car, or by poor decisions that are made because the parent is under the influence of alcohol.
Once you are arrested for drugs, your drug addiction may haunt you. There are some significant consequences for addiction that you might not have taken into account before. Many people end up losing their driver's licenses. If you are a professional, it's possible that you may lose your professional license, and this is especially true if you work in the medical field, transportation field or in public safety. You will also have a criminal record that details your arrest, and you might receive jail time, and/or heavy fines as a result.
There is a great deal of concern about the negative impact that drug addiction has on children because their parents are drug users. Many of the states have expanded their civil definition of child abuse and neglect to include their concerns. Today, you can be charged with child abuse and neglect if you:
In some states, many of these crimes are felonies, which means that they carry strict punishments that may even include prison time, but that will always include removal of the child from the home.
In addition to the emotional and behavioral problems that adult addiction can sometimes cause for children, there are additional legal concerns that should also be considered as well. In many homes, addiction carries other legal issues that place a great burden on a child, and may place him or her in danger.
Children often find themselves to be victims of physical violence when they have parents who are substance abusers. They may become victims of incest, or they may witness it happening within their own homes. Quite frequently, alcohol or drug use goes hand in hand with domestic violence, which can lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), sleep disturbances, anxiety or depression.
For children in these situations, not only are they afraid for their own safety or well-being, but they're also scared for the safety of others in their families. They may worry that a parent may get sick or even die because of the alcohol and drug use. As children get older, this can lead to illegal behaviors on their parts, including drug or alcohol use. The result is often an addiction cycle that is never truly broken.
If you are a parent who is suffering from an addiction, your ultimate goal is to avoid legal problems at all costs. However, the only way to do that is to get professional help for your addiction through a drug rehab or an alcohol rehab. These treatment centers are designed to be able to assist you with the various issues you're facing because of your addiction.
It may seem like a better or even an easier solution for you to just make the decision to stop using drugs or alcohol on your own. Many people attempt to do just that. However, please keep in mind that most addictions stem from other issues, which are often referred to as co-occurring disorders. Perhaps your situation is the same. You may be dealing with symptoms like anxiety, depression, an eating disorder or another condition that only serves to fuel the flame of your addiction. It is nearly impossible for you to experience a complete recovery from your addictive behaviors if the underlying cause is not determined and given adequate treatment. That is what you experience when you go to drug and alcohol rehab.
One of the most difficult situations you will ever face in your life is knowing that a member of your family has an addiction. Perhaps you're in that situation right now, and you feel as though there's nothing you can do about it. Maybe your family member has children, and you're concerned about their safety and well-being. You can see the slippery slope of addiction that your loved one is on, but every time you attempt to have a conversation about the problem, nothing ever comes of it.
So many people are in the exact same situation that you're facing right now, and it's important for you to know that there is something you can do to help. You may want to consider getting information about intervention services. These services are offered by many alcohol and drug treatment facilities, and they will allow you to sit down and have a conversation with your loved one about the addiction and the need for treatment. You'll also receive coaching prior to your session so that you'll know how to say what you need to say. Afterwards, your family member might be much more willing to get treatment, and many people will actually leave for treatment immediately following their interventions.
If you are a child of an addict, or you know someone who is, the most important thing you can do is to get help for yourself. It may seem as though it's within your power to do something about your mom or your dad's addiction problems, but please be assured that this just isn't true. For parents who struggle with addictions, they made the choice to start using drugs or alcohol, and now that their addictions have taken a hold of their lives, their continued use is beyond your control.
It's vital for you to get the help you need to support yourself as your parent goes through this difficult time. You can do that by getting information about an Al-Anon group in your area. Al-Anon was set up for family members of addicts to help them find the support and encouragement they need. You should also consider getting professional counseling from a therapist near you who will help you overcome some of the challenges you're facing right now.
While it's not easy to make the decision to get professional treatment when you have an addiction, you'll find that it's one of the most rewarding decisions you will ever make. More often than not, inpatient treatment is recommended for people with alcohol or drug addictions, and your case will probably be no different. There are some great benefits to choosing this method of treatment, and these include:
The next step is for you to take action. Maybe you’ve been putting off getting help for quite some time. You may not know where to turn, or what to do. The right assistance is available for you.