According to statistics, there are over thirty million Americans currently suffering with a drug or alcohol addiction problem. However, it is not just these thirty million people who suffer as a result – the repercussions and by-products of this problem go much further. On an economic level, the price of alcohol or drug abuse mounts up through lost productivity and a decline in profit, whilst socially, traffic accidents, fatalities, and other injuries related to substance abuse disorders affect or even take thousands of lives per year. However, perhaps the most upsetting by-product of drug abuse are the children who are raised by parents addicted to drugs.

Putting Children in Danger

Whilst not everybody who is addicted to drugs or alcohol will abuse or endanger their children, the symptoms of drug dependence and substance abuse disorder often display characteristics that can affect any children involved in a negative manner. For example, a parent who is suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol is more likely to engage in toxic behaviors such as being verbally abusive or threatening to a child, behaviors which make the child feel afraid or uncomfortable, forcing a child to stay quiet about their parent’s drug abuse or alcoholism, or consistently leaving a child unsupervised. Substance abuse often renders parents unable to adequately meet their child’s needs.

Long-Term Effects

For the children of drug or alcohol abusers, it’s not just the short-term effects of this condition that can dramatically affect their lives. For many children who have been brought up by a parent or parent who is suffering from a drug or alcohol problem, the long-term effects can stay with them for decades, well into their adult lives. Currently, there is a shockingly large number of prison inmates who report a tumultuous upbringing, often as a result of a parent who suffered from a substance abuse disorder. In many cases, these individuals were acutely aware of criminal behavior from a young age, creating a pattern of learned behavior that many went on to copy in their own life. Further, being around parents who abuse drugs and alcohol can often cause many children to grow up with a drug or alcohol addiction problem of their own.

Breaking the Cycle

If you or your loved one is currently suffering from a substance abuse disorder and are worried about the effects that this could have on any children in your life, then it’s important to break the cycle. Since many young people enter into lifestyle patterns of substance abuse as a result of witnessing this type of behavior from adults in their own family, getting help with a substance abuse problem or encouraging a loved one to seek help is paramount. Above It All drug rehab programs help parents to understand the impact their addiction is having on their children, whilst providing them with treatment and support to achieve a full recovery and enjoy a drug-free, happy family life.

To help break the cycle of drug and alcohol addiction in young people, you can also help out at local family and children’s centers or campaign for better drug education in schools.