Tens of millions of Americans suffer from drug dependence. This strong, chemically-wired addiction can affect anyone: the rich, poor, and the educated alike. An addiction to heroin, opiates, or another serious drug is pervasive, often affecting every aspect of the individual’s life. Unfortunately, this can lead to severe consequences for children of parents suffering from a drug addiction.
Impact of Drug Addiction on Children
Most people love their children and want to do what’s best for them. Those suffering from drug dependence love their children and don’t want them to suffer — it’s just the circumstances of the addiction can easily cause negative repercussions for the child. In addition to the potential hereditary effects of being born to a mother addicted to heroin or opiates, there are numerous lifestyle factors that may hinder a child’s growth and development.
Those suffering from drug dependence may leave their children alone at home or forget to feed, bathe, and otherwise, care for their child due to their addiction. Children may feel lonely and neglected. Sometimes, drugs may increase the likelihood of violent, verbal, or sexual abuse. Even having drugs around children, whether hidden away or out in the open, can lead to undue, serious harm.
If Parents Use Drugs, Kids Are Likely to Use Too
Studies show that a high percentage of currently and previously incarcerated people suffered some form of neglect in their upbringing. Quite simply, if parents use drugs, like heroin and opiates, their children are more likely to use them in the future. Part of this is due to socioeconomic factors; if parents were raised in a drug-ridden, poor environment and raised their children in the same environment, it is very difficult to break the cycle for future generations.
If you or someone you know suffers from drug dependence, it’s time to seek help. A difficult conversation today can save someone’s life down the road.