The effects of addiction in parents affect more than the user. Children of addicted parents are not only at an increased chance of developing an addiction of their own later in life, but they are also at risk from suffering as a direct result of a parent’s addiction.
How You Can Help Children in an Addictive Home
If you are the non-addicted parent or a concerned family member who is concerned about the wellbeing of a child, get help as soon as possible. By not helping you are putting children at additional risk of emotional or physical harm. You can do the following:
- Call social services if necessary. Social services will be able to make a determination of danger and place the children in a protected and nurturing environment.
- If you can, take steps to remove the children from the home as soon as possible. There are many shelters and services that will help parents and their children break free from an abusive home environment.
- Getting drug treatment for parents is an important part of reuniting the family at a later point. Even if reunification is not possible, getting drug or alcohol treatment for parents involved will serve as a good model for the children.
- Family addiction counseling is a great way of helping children work through what they have experienced. Living with an addiction in the home is difficult for children to understand, and they may not understand that they are being mistreated or that drugs or alcohol are to blame.
- Talking to kids about addiction rehab can help them better understand how their parents are attempting to get better and provide a better life for their children.
The most important thing that you can do is to put the needs and the wellbeing of the children above everything else. Children deserve to live in a home that is stable, secure, filled with love and free of abuse and drug use.