Son hugs his father during a therapy session.

Children of Addicts

Unquestionably, children of addicts are negatively affected. Their mental and emotional well-being is hindered due to high-stress levels, confusion, and anger. Children of drug addicts are frequently neglected verbally as well as physically. Alcoholism is a leading cause of violence and acts of aggression; however, most drugs inflict mood swings that children sadly witness. Staging an intervention and encouraging drug addict parents to seek treatment is highly advised to prevent mental disorders of substance abuse disorders (SUD) in the child’s future.  

Effects on Children of Drug Addicts 

Children of addicts will face hardships due to witnessing substance abuse. One of the prime concerns is that these children, once grown up, will turn to drugs as a coping mechanism to self-medicate from the trauma as a child. Other side effects include: 

  • Depression or anxiety 
  • Lack of interest in being social 
  • Poor performance in school
  • Low self-esteem or irritability 
  • Risk of physical or sexual abuse 
  • Struggles to maintain friendships 
  • Forming mental health disorders 
  • Emotional and behavioral problems 

Trauma therapy is recommended for individuals who experienced abuse from parents with SUD. If a loved one or friend of the family observes the parents addicted to drugs and notices how their actions are affecting the children, they should be highly encouraged to speak to the parents in a direct but compassionate manner. 

Approaching an addict, especially a parent, can seem difficult because it’s a fragile situation. Most parents don’t want to be told how to raise their children. However, taking the time to speak to the couple or an individual parent in a non-judgmental and concerned tone can show support while also highlighting the urgency to receive treatment. 

The Problem With Excessive Emotional Engagement 

Addicted parents may rely heavily on their children, especially after taking drugs or chronic drinking. Depression and anxiety regularly follow substance abuse, and in this case, the child is the one who is left as the caregiver. For example, a child may be asked to sleep in a parent’s bed during an anxiety attack to provide a feeling of security. This level of reliance puts pressure on the child to mature and grasp the intense emotions of their mother, father, or both. 

On the contrary, parents tend to blame their children for their addiction. Blame can result in depressive episodes that carry symptoms such as isolation, aggression, panic attacks, or even beginning to drink or use the drugs consumed by the parent. In addition, when a parent is an addict for an extended period then, they will often neglect the responsibilities necessary to keep their children happy and healthy. 

Drug Rehab for Parents at Sunshine Care Centers 

At Sunshine Care Centers, we offer rehab for parents who are seeking recovery to better their lives at home. From unique programs like music therapy and EMDR therapy, we design a treatment plan that fits your needs and recovery goals.

Avoid financial strain, inflicting childhood trauma, and long-term health complications by receiving the proper medical care today. We understand addiction is experienced differently by everyone, which is why we work hard to provide a clean and safe atmosphere for reflection and recovery. 

Contact us online or speak to a specialist at Sunshine Care Centers by calling 883-597-CARE and begin your journey to recovery today! 

Related Readings: 

Does Addiction Run in Families?

We're Here For You 24/7

How Can We Help?


Verify Insurance

We accept most insurance carriers.