Innocent Victims of Alcohol and Drug Addiction
Like many addicts’ homes, 2-year-old Sasha Robertson’s house was profoundly unkempt – a garbage refuge… just another aspect of Sasha’s life that was sorely neglected. Along with trash, mounds of dirty dishes, and animal feces, drug paraphernalia was littered throughout the house, well within reach of the children that lived there; a place investigating officers described as deplorable.
However, Charlie was not so lucky. He was found dead in his crib, having suffocated while his mother slept off her drug induced stupor…
A common myth regarding addiction is that it only affects the person suffering, no one else. However, addiction not only affects the addict themselves but everyone surrounding them. Currently, throughout the United States, there are twenty million children experiencing physical, verbal, and emotional abuse at the hands of parents who are struggling with alcohol and drug addiction.
Within such environments, children of addicts have an extremely high risk of suffering from numerous physical and health traumas such as:
- Children of addicted families are eight times more likely to become addicts themselves or to marry an alcoholic or drug addict
- Prenatal drug exposure has been associated with developmental disorders, infant death, miscarriage, premature birth, learning disabilities, etc.
- Children in families containing an addicted family member were at an increased risk for physical abuse
- Children of cocaine addicts were at an increased risk for sexual abuse
- An estimated 480,000 children are mistreated each year by a caretaker with alcohol and drug addiction
- Children of addicts are more likely to suffer more injuries and poisonings than children in the general population
It doesn’t just stop there. Living in homes clouded by addiction, children experience a daily environment of inconsistency, chaos, fear, abandonment, denial, etc. Survival becomes a full time job.
- Guessing at what is normal
- Difficultly having fun
- Judging themselves mercilessly
- Difficulty with emotional relationships
- Feeling “different” from other people
- Tendency to be impulsive
- Becoming either extremely responsible or extremely irresponsible
- Desperately seeking approval and affirmation
- Suffering from chronic anxiety
- Lacking self-discipline
- Compulsive liars
- Suffering from a critical deficiency of self-respect
- Fear and mistrust for authority figures
Addiction is a family disease. In a class of its own, the combination of addiction’s physical and mental repercussions can become extremely destructive for not only the addict, but also everyone surrounding the addict. The negative side effects of parental alcohol and drug addiction can continue even as the child enters adulthood; with 10 to 40 percent of adults who were abused when they were young becoming more likely to abuse their own children.
You can help put a stop to this cycle of destruction – addiction in the family. Are you or a loved one suffering from drug or alcohol addiction? Call us at 855-678-8337. We are here to help!
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