The Impacts of Parental Substance Abuse on a Child’s Life

The Impacts of Parental Substance Abuse on a Child’s Life

You should never compare your 24 hours with someone else’s. Here’s why. 

Around 2 days ago: A mother of 2 abandoned her 3 and 4 year old kids after she got high off of fentanyl increasing the chances of her kids possible being abused or ending up on the wrong side of life or with the wrong person. Crazy to think, a neighbor found the mother unconscious, did not call the cops or the ambulance to save the mother. However, she took the kids with her, had them for a total of 17 hours until someone recognizes that the two kids with the neighbor at the playground are missing kids

Mom abandoned her children after she got high off fentanyl.

Who is to blame? The mother?

Is the neighbor a good Samaritan?

Parent/s who are addicts impact their children’s life in many ways. Substance abuse, whether done by parents or the children themselves, disrupts normal childhood and plays an important role in developing the personality of the child. Some of these effects might go unnoticed, while others are pretty obvious. Nonetheless, the impact is generally negative and needs work to undo. Here are 7 ways a child is impacted by an elder who is in the habit of substance abuse.

1. Parents introduce them to drugs

Let’s get the hard facts in. Alcoholics and drug addict parents introduce their children to substance abuse. The impact of which exists even when the parent is no longer there or is no longer a prey to substance abuse. 

2. They are unable to predict behavior 

Substance abuse takes away your balance. It takes away your ability to keep things in order. A family where substance abuse is common is generally living in chaos and frequently experience impulsive and unpredictable behaviors from both addicts and non-addicts. This is because there is no general order to things and events. You can experience love, detachment, lack of care and intense reactions in the same setting. This can lead to confusion in the child’s mind. He/she has no clue what is right and wrong and so develops their own distorted sense of reality.

3. They experience abandonment

Children might experience a love/hate relationship with a parent who they want to love but who doesn’t love them back. The general rule is, if you can’t take care of yourself, you can’t really take care of others. Over time, you develop a sense of detachment with your kids and lean away from your responsibilities. Love might keep bouncing in and out of the equation until it finally just doesn’t matter to the parent or the child anymore. The more the intensity of abuse, the more the parent is inclined towards abandonment. 

4. They think they are the cause

Children blame themselves for their parent’s substance abuse and think they are the cause. This is because they frequently see their parent trying to find an excuse out of their limitations to drink or intoxicate themselves. A child is forced to think if they do certain things a certain way, maybe the parent will not indulge in substance abuse.

These kids are under a constant pressure to perform way above what is expected of them. They carry a weight that is not meant for them. 

5. PTSD and other ailments 

Post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression are common in children of unhealthy homes. The children develop GAD or social anxiety at a very early stage and it can even lead to depression and chronic anxiety over time. It usually stems from the fears they live with during childhood. 

6. Mental and emotional health issues

Low self-esteem, lack of trust in one’s abilities, low levels of confidence, peer-pressure, a feeling of impending doom, existential crisis, unhealthy emotions, toxic relationships and more can stem from a childhood that experiences a parent under the influence of some drug. This is especially bad for children of broken marriages.

7. Become addicted themselves 

Children with parental substance abuse are 3 to 4 times at a higher rist of themselves becoming addicts. Not just that, they are more prone to suicide, unemployment, divorce and severe psychological conditions.

Needless to say, life is much more challenging for kids with parent/s who abuse substance and in return their kids as well. Their 24 hours are very different from anyone else’s. Not only are they dealing with a set of problems not their to begin with, but they also don’t have parental support in important life matters. The institute of family and that bond has an entirely different definition for them. Some of them may feel like they are put together and can manage life but deep inside they have insecurities, scars and unhealed trauma that may hinder life and relationships in the long run. 

If you are someone who had to lead a life with those unfortunate circumstances, allow me to help you. The first step towards a better life is healing. I can help you embark on this journey of healing through self-love, self-care and self-development and go from broken to blissful and from pain to purpose. Follow my blog and podcast to get weekly content on topics around recovering from childhood trauma, abuse and neglect especially geared towards, but not limited to, motherless daughters. Follow me on Instagram and Pinterest to get updated on new content.

Let me know, did substance abuse by your parents impact your life in any way?

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