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Guide for Children of Addicted Parents


Regardless of our age, we are always deeply influenced by the people who raise us. These influences include not only the genes inherited from biological parents, but also the behaviors, habits, values, and communication styles that we learn from our adult caregivers. This same pattern applies to the way we use alcohol or drugs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 25 percent of American kids grow up in households where substance abuse is present. In homes where one or more adults abuse alcohol or drugs, children are approximately twice as likely to develop addictive disorders themselves, according to Current Drug Abuse Reviews. These children are also more likely to experience:

  • Poor performance in school

  • Emotional and behavioral problems

  • Low self-esteem

  • A higher risk of physical, verbal, or sexual abuse

  • A higher risk of developing anxiety or depression

  • Earlier onset of experimentation with drugs or alcohol

  • A greater chance of becoming addicted once they start using drugs or alcohol

On a positive note, children can have a powerful impact on the adults in their lives if they have access to the right resources and support services. Learning about these support systems, and how to use them to get help for addicted parents, can change the course of a child’s future and may help a parent begin the recovery process. Read More >>

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