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Parenthood and Addiction

By December 1, 2020February 4th, 2021News

Drug and alcohol addiction have become one of the most pressing national public health issues in the United States. This issue is especially challenging for parents, who struggle to take care of both themselves and their children concurrently.

Addiction does not discriminate. Substance abuse is prevalent among the rich and poor, across all regions of the country, and affects all ethnic and social groups.  Our country suffers with an addiction epidemic disproportionate to our population.  Our great Nation makes up only 5% of the world’s population, yet we consume 80% of the world’s annual supply of prescription drugs and 30% of the world’s supply of heroin. 

To make matters worse, according to American Addiction Centers, 1 in every 7 adults ages 18-25 suffers from a Substance Use Disorder, the highest percentage at 14.8%. The harsh reality is that drug and alcohol addiction is more prevalent among American parents than we might think. Statistically speaking, there is a 60% chance that those battling addiction in that age bracket will have at least one young child. 

Not only will battling addiction affect a parent’s teachings and responsibilities of their child, but the child might then follow in their parent’s footsteps. 

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

●     Over 10% of American children live with a parent facing alcohol problems

●     23% of teenagers say their parents do not care if they are caught using prescription drugs recreationally

●     27% of teenagers believe that abusing prescription drugs is better than street drugs, with this mistaken belief and habit likely stemming from parental influence. A sad consequence of this is that now more teens die from misusing prescription drugs than teens who die from street drugs. 

Therefore, we want family members, especially children, to know that they are not alone. At ShareHouse we have the training and resources to help individuals of all backgrounds overcome addiction.

Children of drug addicted parents are often exposed to traumatic situations including domestic violence, overdoses, and parental incarceration. This kind of exposure can create long-term challenges in adulthood for these children. Data from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids shows that children of addicted parents will more likely have depression in adulthood. 

Many studies show that compared to their peers, children of parents who have Substance Use Disorders show higher rates of anxiety, depression, oppositional behavior, conduct problems, and aggressive behavior. They also tend to display lower rates of self-esteem and social competence.

It’s important to understand that you don’t need to face these challenges alone – seek help from resources in your area or contact a helpline with questions. Therapy, residential treatment, and addiction counseling are pathways to strengthen your sobriety and support individuals on their road to recovery.

A temporary absence from your children in order to take a positive hold on life and provide a safe and loving home for them will be understood. You don’t have to go through parenthood and addiction alone; there are several resources to help you overcome this difficult time.  ShareHouse has been providing Substance Use Disorder services to the region since 1975. We provide personalized addiction recovery services for individuals, families and the community.

Ultimately, if you are or know a parent who is struggling with addiction, please seek help for yourself or them. ShareHouse offers a walk-in clinic every weekday from 8am – 3pm (Mon-Thurs) and 8am – 3pm (Friday’s). At ShareHouse, recovery is possible.