Children of Parents with Addiction

When parents struggle with addiction, it affects the lives of their children. It is not uncommon for alcoholism and drug addiction to be repeated generation after generation. The two primary factors are genetic predisposition and environment. Even if one has the genetic predisposition it does not mean they will automatically suffer from alcoholism or addiction but all children learn from their environment.

When children are removed from homes due to neglect and parental addiction they may be angry and confused. If children have never had consistent supportive parenting they may not even realize there is a problem.  They might be too young to understand why their parent(s) is gone. Some may become withdrawn, fearful and act out.

Addiction is a disease and its negative impact spills onto children of alcoholics and addicts.  Children need to feel loved and to be safe.  They need to be in a positive nurturing environment.  Besides needing treatment for alcoholism or other addiction, parents would benefit from parenting classes to learn skills in nurturing and training their children.

Sometimes addicts don’t recognize they have a problem. They may be hostile if confronted. Older children try to hide their parent’s drug or alcohol abuse because they have been taught that bad things will happen to them if anyone finds out.  These children are placed in the position of having to protect their family instead of being protected themselves.

Sometimes it is difficult to recognize the signs of neglect and abuse in children living in homes where parents are addicted. Community service providers such as social workers, medical personnel, teachers and counselors may be viewed as the enemy by children whose parents suffer from addiction.  Children may not have learned to trust service providers.  Because of this, it is important that providers be able to accurately identify signs and symptoms of child neglect or abuse.

Finding support for children and their addicted parents can be challenging but it is possible.  The best possible outcome would be that children are in a safe environment with their parent(s) who are in active recovery from their addiction.  Children and their parents are provided with medical and behavioral support as needed.  This is possible.  Ask for help if you or your loved one is having a problem with addiction. There are addiction treatment programs designed to help children and provide treatment for their parents with addiction, such as ours. We offer parenting classes, Mommy & Me time, and a healthy environment for mother and child to build a stronger, sober relationship. We can have children up to the age of thirteen living on our campus with their Mother, who would be going through our comprehensive and high quality addiction treatment services at the same time. Call us today for more information at 800-93-WOMEN, or just fill out the contact form on the right side of this page!

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