Children Of AddictsRehabilitation News
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, close to 25% of children in American live in homes with one or more substance abusing parents. Children living in this type of environment suffer greatly at the hands of their parents. Addicts often inflict mental responsibility on their children that they are not able to cope with. These children often find getting help from outside the home easier than trying to confront their parent(s) directly about getting substance abuse help.
How These Children Suffer
Children that live with substance abusing adults often suffer an array of physical and mental side effects. These children are often at an increased risk of developing depression, anxiety, and low-self esteem. Generally, children living with addicts have a very difficult time managing and dealing with their emotions, causing them to perform badly in school and have problems socializing.
Additionally, these children are unfortunately at an increased risk of suffering both physical and sexual abuse from a parent or someone they brought into the home. Although not guaranteed, children living with addicts often go on to develop their own substance abuse problems during their teen and early adult years.
What Can Help Children Living With Addicts?
In order to combat some issues they are dealing with, it is crucial for them to find healthy ways to express their feelings and emotions. Some activities that can benefit children under these circumstances are:
Finding an adult they can talk to and trust. Quite often, children of addicts benefit from having a relative, coach, or teacher they can talk to. They need to express how they feel in a healthy manner and know someone actually cares about them. Sometimes these trusting adults are able to help the parents by convincing them to get substance abuse help.
Track their thoughts and feelings in a journal. Children in homes where substance abuse takes place often go through unordinary things. These experiences may be overwhelming and scary. Sometimes writing down thoughts and feelings about what goes on can help them cope. If a child is not interested in writing, video recordings are a safe and healthy alternative.
Establish a strong safety net. Children living with addicts need to refrain from isolating themselves in these situations. These children may feel like they are alone. It is important for them to stay close to friends and other family members so they know what is going on. It is crucial for these children to socialize and communicate safely with other kids their age as well as trusting adults.
Create safe spots with others. If a crisis occurs in the home, children need a safe place to go. Keep emergency contact information for trusted friends and relatives on hand they can use in case of emergency. These children need to keep a list of relatives’ and friends’ homes, as well as camps and other safe places they can stay.
Help For Children Of Addicts
It is crucial to realize and recognize that children in homes of addicts are not the cause of the addiction. Quite often these children blame themselves or they are blamed for people acting in certain ways. This is never the case. If you or someone you know has a parent dealing with a substance use disorder and you want to get them substance abuse help, contact the Crosby Clinic at (760) 751-1234 as soon as possible.