Drug or alcohol addiction causes an extreme amount of pain and torment in an individual’s life and those surrounding them. While their professional life and personal life are both seriously affected by their choices, oftentimes, the greatest harm comes to their family life. Whether the person struggling with addiction is a teen or a parent, the impact of their addiction on the rest of the family unit is tremendous.
Here are just a few ways that alcohol and drug addiction impacts the family:
1. Less Attention Toward Other Children
If parents have to focus all their attention on one child who is struggling with drug addiction, then the siblings are often not getting the attention they need. This emotional neglect could lead to risky behavior by the non-addicted children, either as a cry to be noticed or because of lack of accountability.
2. Children of Addicts Are More Prone to Abuse
According to the AddictionCenter, children who have witnessed the traumas of drug or alcohol addiction in a parent are three times more likely to be physically and sexually abused. Experiencing a parent on drugs can furthermore create mental and emotional disorders later on in life.
3. Children May Feel Like They’re Enabling Addiction
If a child’s parent or sibling is addicted to drugs or alcohol, the child may experience feelings of guilt or shame that they are “enabling” the behavior. Children might feel like they should be able to prevent or stop destructive situations even though they do not have the capacity.
4. Drug Addiction Leads to Financial Strain
Drug addiction leads to many financial burdens for the parents and relatives of someone struggling with drug addiction. Parents are oftentimes left paying for legal fees, repair of damaged property, etc. due to their child’s addiction.
5. Violence or Unsafe Situations
The turmoil caused by drug or alcohol addiction can many times culminate into a violent situation, in which other family members are caught in the crossfire. Even if direct violence does not ensue, children can be placed at risk if they are forced to be in a car with a family member who is on drugs.
6. Children May Overcompensate
If their sibling or parent is struggling with drug addiction, children may feel the need to overcompensate for the irresponsible behavior. This desire to succeed can reach unhealthy limits and cause the child to break down under the pressure.
Drug and alcohol addiction is not an isolated issue. It affects everyone in the family unit. If your family is struggling with drug addiction, contact our Boulder drug rehabilitation center today at 720-577-4422 or firstname.lastname@example.org to begin the recovery journey.