When a person suffers from the disease of drug addiction, they are affecting their lives as well as anyone who is close to them. This means the people they love, and it means the people who love them, especially their children. It is impossible for everyone to walk away unscathed by drug addiction. This includes the addict, close family and friends and the addict’s children. The impact of a parent using drugs will have a lifelong psychological impact on the children, a lifelong psychological impact on the addict and possibly a physical impact on either the parent, children or both. There are an unfathomable amount of possible scenarios for the parent and child combination for the impact of the drug abuse, but there are some specific consequences seen in nearly every case.
Here are four ways drug use will almost always have an effect on the lives of the children of a drug abuser.
Children Assume the Role of Caregiver
When a parent is out getting high, children will often assume the role of caregiver for younger siblings or themselves. If they are only children, they have to grow up too early because there is no one to depend on but themselves. This can sometimes to lead to illegal behavior as the survival instinct kicks in, and a child is forced to find and provide for its own or younger siblings’ necessities.
Loss of Trust in Adults
The belief that a child can only truly depend on themself is part of why the trust in adults becomes crippled. Also, parents with drug problems often promise to get clean and be better parents, but they relapse because beating addiction is hard. A child’s mind is too young and fragile to understand how hard it is to beat addiction or what addicts say when they are high. All they want and believe, at first, is their parents love and will care for them, but many are disappointed.
Constant Turmoil Because of Their Parent’s Illegal Lifestyle
More often than not, addicts will find themselves caught up in the court system for a wide range of charges. It usually starts as possession, but it can lead to other charges used to support the habit. The best way for an addict that is truly trying to change is to clean up their act, and they should hire a reputable attorney or lawyer. There are legal representatives all over the country similar to this firm offering the same kind of help, and some of them probably have good connections with people that can offer long term assistance for drug addicts wanting to stay clean.
The Will Probably Have Trouble Succeeding in Life
When a parent chooses to do drugs, they are making a choice of pleasure or temporary escape over providing their children with what they need to succeed and develop in all facets. The absence and turmoil stunts emotion, mental and educational growth. Additionally, it is not rare for physical abuse and neglect to take place. Any child lacking full support in their emotional, mental and physical development will have trouble succeeding.
These four scenarios can fester and become worse. Addiction is hereditary too, which is something every parent or would-be parent should think about before using. Sometimes drug use is a way to self-medicate or a sign of deeper problems, so drug-abusing parents should seek help immediately from drug counselors, a psychiatrist and possibly a medical doctor.