How Does a Parent’s Addiction Affect Children?

How Does a Parent's Addiction Affect Children?The effects of a parent’s addiction on children vary with the type of addiction the current family dynamics. However the following are some common ways that addiction affects families in Seattle:

  • Life with an addictive parent can create an unpredictable family situation for children. The obsessive nature of drug addiction means that the parent may forego the natural and necessary routines of family life for the “high” of the drug.
  • Confusion about family roles is common, as children are sometimes forced to take care of addicts who are high or are sleeping off the effects of drugs or alcohol.
  • Anger as a result of drug use or over the situation can arise and disrupt relationships.
  • Physical abuse is often present in homes with a parent who is an addict.
  • If one or both parents have addictive personalities, the children may be genetically predisposed toward addiction.

A child will observe and absorb the behaviors he or she sees in the parent. An older child may seek an escape from the unpredictable, confusing family situation by turning to alcohol or drugs. The effects of a parent’s drug abuse or addiction on children are negative, but they can be reversed.

What to Tell Children of Addicts

Children of addicts generally benefit from knowing the following things:

  • A parent’s addiction is not the fault of the child. This message is very important, and it needs to be communicated consistently from people the child knows and respects.
  • The child needs to understand that addiction is a disease that can be treated.
  • Talking with others is essential. The child needs to know that there are people who will listen to and care for him or her.
  • The child is not alone. There are other children who have survived and thrived beyond a family situation where a parent is addicted. These stories need to be told to children of addicts so that they know they are not alone and that there is hope.

Help to End Addiction in Seattle Families

If you are worried about the effects of your or another’s drug use on the life of a child of Seattle, call our toll-free helpline. We are here to answer questions about addiction and recovery, and we are available 24 hours a day. Don’t risk your life or the life of your child any longer. Call today.