How Addiction Affects Children

If you think that your drug or alcohol problem is yours alone, think again. Addiction to alcohol or drugs is often seen as a family disease as it doesn’t only affect the addict but those closest to them as well. Your addictive behaviour will rub off on every one, most importantly, children. Children learn from the behaviours and actions from the people they are around with the most, so what example are you setting for your child if you abuse alcohol or drugs in their presence? In this article, we’re going to tell you how addiction affects children.

Having a parent that abuses alcohol or drugs and simply behaves out of control is embarrassing for any child. They might be thinking that this is the person that they are supposed to look up to and look after them but how can they do it if they can’t look after themselves? This often causes children to avoid spending time with friends, especially at their own house because they are scared and embarrassed of the situation.

Staying Out of the House
Having an addiction in the family might even make your child decide that it’s better to be outside the house than inside it. The uneasiness inside the household and your uncontrollable behaviour may just be too much for them.

Lack of Support and Guidance
Children constantly need support and guidance while they are growing up as these are the fundamental elements that will turn them into a responsible adult. However, when a parent abuses drugs or alcohol inside the home, they will not receive this as trhe only thing that will be important to the addiction is when, where and how they will be able to get their next drink or fix.

Finding Other Ways to Get Attention or to Handle Problems
Children need attention; they need to know that they are taken note of and that you love them. This helps build self-confidence in them and motivates them to do better in every aspect of their lives. However, when they receive no attention, they will often begin to seek it in the wrong ways. This could involve stealing and engaging in other unlawful or risky behaviour. Also, in a manner to deal with the problems they experience, they might even begin using drugs or alcohol themselves as this is how their parent is dealing with their issues.

It is the only way they know how.

Feeling As If They Have Lost Their Parent
Before a parent became addicted to drugs or alcohol, they may have enjoyed spending time with their child. However, when an addiction is present, this no longer happens and to the child it will feel as if the lost the person they once knew. This may confuse them and cause them to experience trust issues as if they can’t rely on their parent, who can they rely on?

Addiction Help
If you are addicted to alcohol or drugs and have children to take care of, do yourself and your child a favour and get professional help immediately. Leaving an addiction untreated will only cause things to get worse and worse as time goes on.

We can provide you with access to the best private drug and alcohol treatment centres in South Africa. Call us now and let one of our qualified addiction counsellors find a rehab to suit you or a loved one’s every individual needs.

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