Addicts often inflict mental responsibility on their children that they are simply unable to cope with. For children with addicted parents, it may be easier to find help outside of the home than to try confronting the parent directly about their substance abuse problem. The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that nearly 25% of kids are living in homes with substance abusing parents. These children are more likely to become addicts themselves and they are at a higher risk of running away.
Children living with addicts are more likely to suffer physically and mentally. Some of the most common issues children of addicts experience are:
- Doing badly in school
- Having problems dealing with emotions
- Having low self-esteem
- Being at a higher risk of sexual or physical abuse
- Have an increased risk for depression and anxiety
Although it is not guaranteed, children living with addicts are more likely to develop their own substance abuse problem. It is crucial for children to find healthy alternatives for expressing their feelings and emotions. Some things that may benefit these children are:
Finding an adult they can talk to and trust. Find a teacher, coach, or a relative to talk to and let them know how you feel. Ask if they are willing to help.
Keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings. You are most likely going to experience unordinary things at home. Some things may seem scary, which is why it is important to write them down. A journal will help you deal with your fears, develop coping skills, and help you through everything. If you do not like writing, consider recording videos instead.
Have a strong safety net. It is important that you do not isolate yourself away from other people. Stay close to your friends and let them know what is going on. You need to have someone your age to talk to and keep in touch with.
Find safe places to go. If you are having a crisis at home, it is important that you have a safe place to go to. Make a list of friends or relatives homes, camps, or safe events that are happening. Having a safe place to go will help you relieve some of the stress at home.
Gather emergency contact numbers. You should have phone numbers for neighbors, relatives, teachers, or teen hotlines in a safe place. There may be times you need to contact someone to talk or for help and it is important that you are able to do so.
Above all, remember that another person’s substance abuse problem is not your fault. There may be times where they blame you and try to degrade you, but you are not the cause. You are also not able to be the cure. It is important for you or your loved one to reach out for help.
At Asana Recovery, we have support groups, inpatient treatment, and outpatient services available to help you and your loved one. Contact us at (949)329-5479 to get started today.