Growing up with Addiction in the Family

Children of parents who struggle with alcoholism are at risk of experiencing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, behavioral problems, and drug or alcohol abuse. Children of parents with an addiction or substance use disorder can feel uncertain, unstable, neglected, disorganized, and alone. The home environment influences a child’s chaotic feelings.
Children feel guilty of their parents’ substance abuse and believe they are the reason for it. Alcohol changes a person’s mood and can cause aggressive, abusive, and violent behavior. Alcoholism affects the way a person’s brain functions and can lead to brain damage, stroke, overdose, and early death. Addiction is linked to childhood trauma. It affects a child’s development and destroys family relationships.
When a child has a parent suffering with alcoholism, they often do not get the attention they need. This affects a child’s stability and wreaks havoc on everyone in the family. If a child grows up in an unstable household, he or she can develop trust issues and behavioral problems. Children of parents with alcoholism are at high risk of developing a substance use disorder or addiction in adolescence or adulthood.
Teens are influenced by peer pressure and often act on impulse. A teenager is likely to become addicted to drugs or alcohol when they have a parent with an addiction to substances. A teen’s brain develops at a high rate but when addicted to drugs or alcohol, the brain’s development slows down or stops. When they abuse drugs or alcohol, they put themselves and others at risk of accidents or early death.
A parent with an addiction to alcohol should go to rehab and begin the recovery process. When a parent stops drinking, the family can heal and build healthy relationships with each other. Children need professional help to understand and cope with their family’s addictive behavior. A child will need time to heal with intensive therapy for healthy growth and development.
There is no cure for addiction, but there is hope for recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance addiction, get help today.

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