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How Children Are Affected By Addiction

How Children Are Affected By Addiction Can Cause Emotional Trauma

Have you wondered how children are affected by addiction? You may have a family member with children who is dealing with addiction. The sad fact is the child of an addicted parent has a four times greater chance of becoming an addict. Genetic weakness and exposure to the psychological and behavioral actions of the addicted parent places a child at a high risk of addiction.

How Children Are Affected By Addiction

Every child is different, and so their reactions to an addicted parent or sibling will vary. There are some consequences that are common to many children caught up in this difficult family situation. The following are some of the ways how children are affected by addiction.

  • Children are shy and withdrawn.

  • Communication with others is difficult.

  • School work suffers.

  • The child becomes a caregiver for the addicted parent.

  • Children live with the fear their parent will be arrested.

  • Because money is spent on drugs, there is often not enough food.

  • The child sometimes believes he or she is the reason the parent takes drugs.

  • The child has low self-esteem issues.

  • Children may inflict self-harm (such as cutting).

  • The child may suffer from emotional and physical abuse.

  • A child may be left alone at home while parent is out partying.

  • Children are isolated from friends and classmates because they are ashamed.

  • Children are often neglected.

  • Children may start acting out because they are overwhelmed by the parent’s behavior.

Sometimes a child will pour all their energy in excelling at school, taking care of the home, younger siblings, and even fixing the meals. They store all their emotions away for a time in order to hide the evidence of a dysfunctional family. These children do not participate in extra curricular activities, join sports teams, or have any social activity outside of the hours they attend school.

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