Children of parents who struggle with alcoholism are at risk of experiencing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, behavioral problems, and drug or alcohol abuse. Children of parents with an addiction can feel uncertain, unstable, neglected, disorganized, and alone. The home environment influences a child’s chaotic feelings.
Children feel guilty of their parents’ substance abuse and believe they cause it. Alcohol changes a person’s mood and can cause aggressive, abusive, and violent behavior. Alcoholism affects the way a person’s brain functions and can lead to brain damage, stroke, overdose, and death. Addiction is linked to childhood trauma. It affects a child’s development and destroys family relationships.
Alana Levinson, author of Surviving the Secret Childhood Trauma of a Parent’s Drug Addiction, explains the effects associated with substance abuse on children. “Study after study shows that children of addicts develop anxiety, depression, issues with over-achievement and people-pleasing, and psychosomatic illnesses at a higher rate than others. Some may even enact what researchers call the “No Feel Rule,” blocking feelings as a coping mechanism.”
If a child grows up in an unstable household, he or she can develop trust issues and behavioral problems. Children of parents with an addiction to alcohol are at high risk of developing an addiction to substances in adolescence or adulthood.
Teens are influenced by peer pressure and often act on impulse. A teenager is likely to become addicted to drugs or alcohol if they have a parent with an addiction. A teen’s brain develops at a high rate but when addicted to drugs or alcohol, the brain’s development slows down or stops.
A parent with an addiction to alcohol should get help and begin the recovery process. When a parent stops drinking, the family can heal and have healthy relationships with each other. Children need professional help to understand and cope with their family’s addictive behavior. A child will need time to heal with intensive therapy for healthy growth and development. Addiction is treatable and recovery is possible.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, do not wait. Get help today. Nexus Recovery Services specializes in addiction treatment for mental health issues and addiction. Our mission is to provide tools and support for every client’s seamless transition into a meaningful and fulfilling life of sobriety. We offer a free and confidential consultation. Call us to get started:310-881-9151