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Parental substance abuse trigger similar tendencies in children

Parental substance abuse trigger similar tendencies in children

Parental substance abuse trigger similar tendencies in children

May 23rd, 2017 | ASAH Team

Drug abuse has become a global menace that affects millions of people worldwide. Although it is a common insight that genetics plays a major role in developing the problem of drug addiction and abuse, sometimes the issue can be more than genetics. Certain external factors, such as mental health issues, stress, environment, social surrounding, etc., are also responsible for the tilt toward experimentation with illicit substances.

In fact, children brought up in a household where any of the two parents are struggling with substance use disorder (SUD) tend to imitate their parents as a means of coping mechanism. The early exposure to substance abuse leads to witnessing the problems even in the adulthood. Driven by curiosity and the need to feel better, children start abusing substances as a means to escape from the extant problems. Though the decision to start using an addictive substance is usually voluntary in nature, it eventually turns into a habit due to regular use.

Therefore, it is essential to identify parental substance abuse to address the problems of growing children. Usually, children growing with such parents need counseling and effective interventions to prevent SUD.

Who is at risk?

Almost everyone runs the increased risk of developing the problem of addiction to substances. No one is immune from the repercussions of drug addiction. Though it is a genetically predisposed mechanism, several other factors can collaboratively induce one to digress toward addiction. The period of teenage to adulthood is a risky phase wherein a minor experiment may turn into a full-blown addiction in later years.

However, teens who abuse illicit substances are more likely to neglect their daily activities, drop out of school, and develop sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unplanned pregnancies. According to an analysis of the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health, one in every 10 people in the age group 12 and above (about 23.5 million people) in the United States alone is struggling with the problem of addiction to alcohol and drugs. Besides biological factors, other factors, such as mental illness, may also trigger addiction.

Parental substance abuse pushes children toward behavioral problems

An individual stands an increased risk of developing this problem by being consistently exposed to parental substance abuse. A teenager who is grappling with the problem of drug addiction is also likely to engage in risky or unprotected sexual affairs that may result in unwanted pregnancy. As the child grows up, he or she tries hard and struggles a lot to find a way out through the problems caused due to his or her parents’ addiction and other behavioral problems. Parental substance use is associated with the negative effects on prenatal development, parenting, and early childhood and adolescence phases of growth.

When substance abuse holds a place in a family, sorrow and solitude too dominate the relations. While parents’ may be struggling with their addiction problem or might be undergoing drug addiction treatment, the child, in order to cope with his distress and pain, is likely to befriend drugs or fall in the bad company. As a result, the child is pushed into a vicious cycle of addiction.

Break the cycle of addiction

The impact of an addiction is felt not only on the user but also on the other family members. While some children manage to escape the miseries because of their grit and self-determination, some lose the race halfway. Studies shows that more than 12 percent of children in the U.S. live with a parent who is dependent on or abuses substances. This dependence can eventually weaken or diminish the parent-child bond.

Addiction to any type of substance, whether drugs or alcohol, can cause devastating consequences on the families. If you or someone you know needs help to recover from substance abuse, contact the Arizona Substance Abuse Helpline to get details about the best substance abuse treatment centers in Arizona. You can call us at our 24/7 number 866-857-5777 or chat online with our experts to get more information on professionally managed substance abuse rehab clinic in Arizona. Since your family needs you, it is the time to convince yourself for a treatment plan.

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