Sexual abuse is more common and frequent in children that come from substance abusive parents. According to research, children who live in high conflict homes are more likely to have lower self-esteem and less internal focus of control. Even if the children are not victimized by family violence or sexual abuse, simply witnessing violence can have emotionally devastating consequences. Image: http://www.dbtechno.com/images/teen-drugs.jpg
In many instances, parents do not have enough money to financially support their children because their main financial priority is focused on their substance abuse, which results in neglecting the child’s needs.Image: http://www.madministry.org/babywbaby.jpg Children are affected emotionally and physically by this issue in many ways. Emotionally, the child is embarrassed of the clothes that they wear and the fact that they do not have the basic necessities that other children with sober parents have. They also may feel as though their parents do not care enough about them, which lowers self-esteem and self-worth considering the fact that their parents are more concerned about their substance use than their own child’s needs. Physically, the children are affected by this issue as their medical needs are pushed aside because the parent does not have enough money to pay for medical bills or doctor’s visits because the money is solely dedicated to their addiction. In many instances, parents do not have enough money to financially support their children because their main financial priority is focused on their substance abuse, which results in neglecting the child’s needs.
The costs of these children’s use of drugs and alcohol is incalculable in terms oflost educational opportunities, lost income, and involvement with the juvenile justice system
What could be done to heighten awareness of this problem is to have students do projects, conduct research and write a paper, to become educated on the topic and then should make signs and presentations to spread around the school to educate others, therefore spreading the word, information, and knowledge on the topic of child maltreatment and substance abuse in the family. Pep rallies at the school, or presentations made by authorities should advocate anti-abuse and drug-abuse awareness. It is important to heighten the awareness and allow children to feel comfortable discussing these issues with an authority or professional because in many cases, children do not report these issues in fear of the consequences, in which their parents usually threaten them not to discuss the issues of substance abuse and all of the behavioral, emotional, and physical consequences that the children experience as a result of it.Image: http://www.greenville.k12.sc.us/trest/images/assembly_sm.jpg
The challenge of helping parents with substance abuse issues in their parenting skills and in promoting resilience in their children has often been ignored. When seeking help, it is important to promote resilience, social competence, and school readiness in the children of the most vulnerable parents suffering from substance abuse addiction. Treatment and therapy will help the parent and child to work towards repairing or preventing damaged parent-child relationships among young children whose parents face severe risks with substance abuse. Mental health care professionals, counselors, and psychologists will work towards ensuring the safety of the children while helping parents with their substance abuse issues.
“Starting Early, Starting Smart” programs helped participating caregivers strengthen their home environment by decreasing drug use among caregivers who were problem users, reducing verbal aggression among caregivers, decreasing indicators of parental stress among caregivers experiencing high levels of stress, and increasing positive interactions between parents and children (Knitzer, 2000).
1. Children Affected by their Parent’s Substance Abuse<br />Rebecca Kringold PSY492 UB: Advanced General Psychology Argosy University <br />
2. Abstract<br />The aim of this Power Point Presentation is to discover the behavioral, emotional, and physical effects that children experience as a result of growing up with substance abusive parents. <br />This Power Point intends to focus on explaining the different behavioral, emotional, and physical effects that parent’s substance abuse issues have on their children, including the long-term effects and life-long struggles that children endure as a result of their parent’s substance abuse issues. <br />This Power Point will include statistic and factual information to prove that children most certainly are affected by their parent’s substance abuse behaviorally, emotionally, and physically. <br />Most importantly, this Power Point Presentation will include treatment options, intervention strategies, and information on where and how to seek help.<br />
3. Emotional and Behavioral Consequences<br />Emotional and behavioral consequences that Children of substance abusive parents may experience as a result of their parent’s drug use is that they may have difficulty focusing or getting good grades in school due to the stress that they experience from the conflicts and tensions at home.<br /><ul><li> Children of substance abusive parents tend to blame themselves for their parent’s overall drug abuse, thinking that they are not good enough and force their parents to use drugs.</li></li></ul><li>Emotional Consequences<br />Parental substance abuse interrupts a child’s normal development, which places these children at higher risk for emotional, physical and mental health problems. <br />Because parents who abuse drugs are more likely to be involved with domestic violence, divorce, unemployment, mental illness and legal problems, their ability to parent effectively is severely compromised. <br />There is a higher occurrence of depression, anxiety, eating disorders and suicide attempts among children growing up with substance abusive parents compared to children that grow up with parents who do not abuse substances<br />
4. Physical Consequences<br /><ul><li>Physical and sexual abuse against children is more likely in homes where the parent’s are substance abusers. </li></ul>The child might develop stress-related health problems like gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, migraines, or asthma, causing them to miss school. And a child whose parent’s substance abuse causes neglect might become injured because of failure to adequately child-proof the house or because of inadequate supervision, or even lack immunization and other routine well-child care (COAF, 2010).<br />
5. Physical Consequences<br />Children may suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome, with the same kinds of sleep disturbances, flashbacks, anxiety, and depression that are associated with victims of war crimes. These children are not only frightened for their own well-being, but they also harbor the all-too-real concern that their parent may get sick or die as a result of the drinking or drug use. <br /><ul><li> Not only are children of substance abusive parents more likely to become victims of physical and sexual abuse, children of substance abusive parents are four times more likely than children of parents who do not abuse substances to develop substance abuse issues themselves.</li></li></ul><li>Neglect<br />Neglect amongst children of substance abusive parents is a common factor as the parents are entangled in their addiction, which consumes their financial responsibilities and parenting responsibilities. <br />Food, clothing, school supplies, and other necessities that a child needs is disregarded because the parent focuses on their addiction, mostly of fear of withdrawal from their substance abuse, the parent spends money to support their drug habit instead of financially supporting the child’s basic needs. <br />
6. Long-Term Consequences <br />The long-term consequences of children growing up with substance abusive parents, include increased mortality, self-destructive behaviors, which include attempted suicide or drug addiction.<br /> Hospitalization due to violence, an increased risk of teenage pregnancy and unemployment were also seen more frequently among cases where the parents were alcohol abusers. <br />Parent’s substance abuse seemed to be associated with higher occurrences of all the mentioned disadvantages” (Christoffersen & Soothillb, 2003). <br />
7. Statistics<br />Substance abuse goes hand in hand with child abuse and neglect. In many cases of child abuse and neglect, there is apparently substance abusing parents behind the issue. Statistics show that approximately forty to eighty percent of three million children that are placed in the child welfare system come from parents who use and abuse substances.<br /> Out of these three million children that have substance abusive parents, an estimated one million of those children showed obvious signs of abuse and neglect.<br />
8. Statistics<br />According to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, more than eleven hundred children die each year as a result of neglect and abuse from a substance abusive parent (Banks, 2001).<br />Children of substance abusive parents are four times more likely than children of parents who do not abuse substances to develop substance abuse issues themselves.<br />
9. Heightening Awareness of Child Maltreatment as a result of Parental Substance Abuse <br />It is important to heighten awareness of this problem. Child maltreatment, especially in relation to substance abuse is an issue that is important to discuss amongst an audience such as grade and high school students. <br /><ul><li> Grade and high school students are the perfect audience to enlighten on this topic because they are a group of children that need this kind of information provided to them regarding substance abuse and child maltreatment, considering that at least half of the children are in that situation in their own homes or know someone close to them who is. </li></li></ul><li>Treatment Options<br />Substance abusive parents and their abused and neglected children need as much help as they can get. Many parents who are substance abusers were victims of neglect and abused in their childhood and possibly come from substance abusive parents themselves. It is a vicious cycle that must be broken as substance abuse and addiction leads to the destruction of families. <br />The most effective approach to treatment for this problem involves open communication between a mental health care professional, therapist, or drug counselor in the child welfare system and the children and parents in need of help.<br />
10. Treatment Options<br /> There are plenty of community based services that provide professional help that these children, parents, and families so desperately need. Treatment is only effective when the professionals have an extensive amount of knowledge and expertise about child welfare concerns and substance abuse problems (Banks, 2001). <br />
11. Treatment Option: “Starting Early, Starting Smart”<br />“Starting Early, Starting Smart” is a national, public-private partnership between the Casey Family Programs, which is a private foundation, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. <br /><ul><li>The “Starting Early, Starting Smart” partnership supported the integration of substance abuse and mental health services into primary health care and early childhood settings serving children and their families.
12. “Starting Early, Starting Smart” is just one of many organizations available for help, support, and treatment for parents with substance abuse issues and their children who are behaviorally, emotionally, and physically affected by their parent’s substance abuse issues. </li></li></ul><li>CONCLUSION<br /> In conclusion and based on the research, children that grow up with substance abusive parents experience a slew of behavioral, emotional, and physical consequences as a result of their parent’s substance abuse. <br />These children are affected by the parent’s actions, behaviors, choices, and decisions in many more ways than one. These children are neglected, abused emotionally and physically, and can result in many behavioral problems, including the use and abuse of substances later in their lives. <br /> In the same sense, the parents who are substance abusers usually come from parents who are substance abusers as well, which is why it is extremely important and crucial for these children to seek help and treatment in order to break the vicious cycle. <br />
13. ON A POSITIVE NOTE<br />Fortunately, there is hope for children that come from substance abusive parents. Although there are many emotional, behavioral, and physical consequences as a result of their parent’s substance abuse, there is help through treatment, intervention strategies, and professional support. <br />Considering that there are serious long-term negative effects on a child growing up with substance abusive parents, there is help and treatment available, which can prevent the child from experiencing a life of long-term negative consequences and struggles as a result of their parent’s substance abuse. <br /><ul><li> On a positive note, the majority of children growing up with substance abusive parents do not end up in horrible circumstances. Only one in four of these children will become alcoholic themselves, three in four will not. Most children and teens are able to draw upon their inner strengths to cope with their circumstances and succeed in life. Children with substance abusive parents can be helped in many ways, both formal and informal to call on their resiliency (COAF, 2010).</li></li></ul><li>References<br /> Banks, H. (2001). Child Welfare League of America: Substance Abuse and Child Abuse: Children’s Voice Article. Retrieved May 28, 2010, from http://www.cwla.org/articles/cv0109sacm.htm<br />Christoffersen, M.N. & Soothillb, K. (2003). The Long-Term Consequences of Parental Alcohol Abuse: A Cohort Study of Children in Denmark. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Volume 25, Issue 2, Pages 107-116. Retrieved from http://www.journalofsubstanceabusetreatment.com/article/S0740-5472(03)00116-8/abstract<br /> Center on Addiction and the Family (COAF). (n.d). Effects of parental substance abuse on children and families. Retrieved on May 28, 20http://www.coaf.org/professionals/effects%20.htm10, from <br />