Keeping your family safe
Addicted parents are more likely to neglect their children. A parent’s addiction or alcohol dependence can increase risks to children. It is hard to be a good parent when your brain is clouded by addiction. A parent who is drinking or using might drive under the influence with the children in the car. With addiction comes an increased risk of a violent environment, whether from crime, fellow users, intimate partner violence, or child abuse. Growing up in a household with addiction may increase a child’s chances of experimenting with drugs and alcohol and becoming addicted himself.
Addiction takes a heavy toll on children emotionally. Parenting might be inconsistent, unrealistic, or neglectful. Children can feel guilty or responsible for their parent’s drinking or drug use, and imagine that they can control it. Growing up with addiction can distort a young person’s sense of self and relationships.
There are resources, programs, and support groups designed especially for kids and teens to help them cope and come to terms with a family member with an addiction. Fortunately, a troubled family is not destiny, and children are resilient.
If you are concerned about how your partner’s addiction is affecting your children, seek help now from a healthcare professional to learn steps you can take to create a healthier environment for your children.