Substance abuse changes the way a person thinks, acts, responds to people around them, and the way they maintain relationships. When it comes to living in a home with someone using drugs or alcohol, children can be impacted in many ways. Regardless of their age, they are susceptible to challenges as a result of being with those who use. At Sunstone Recovery, we provide the treatment you need, so you do not have to worry about exposing your children to these risks. Contact us today to learn more about our family therapy program by calling 855.833.9199.
When Children Are Exposed to Substance Abuse
A child is impressionable. Everything he or she does, they try to understand and process. From a young age, children can pick up on the feelings, moods, and behaviors of those around them, including parents, siblings, and others. Sometimes, when the person is an individual they see with respect and love, they note that a person’s actions as positive and even normal.
For example, if a child sees a parent using drugs on a consistent basis at a young age, they believe this is normal behavior. This desensitizes the child to those drugs, increasing the risk that they, too, will use when they are older.
Other times, especially in older children who have learned about substance abuse, it creates a negative impression. They see a parent, for example, as weak or even become angry at them for using drugs or alcohol. They feel as though it is taking away from their life and their relationship, and in many ways, they are right. In these situations, that resentment can carry on for years to come.
With children, you may experience a range of emotions, including:
- Anger and frustration
- Fear of losing a parent or loved one
- Insecurities about themselves and their importance
- Depression and anxiety due to what may happen
- Aggression towards the situation or person
What Can You Do About This Exposure to Your Children?
When it comes to protecting your child from this type of exposure, there are many factors to keep in mind. What’s most important is knowing that doing something is critical. In some situations, children can develop trauma from this type of exposure, especially if it leads to strife in the family, abuse of any type, neglect, or angry exchanges. The effects of this trauma can carry on for years to come. Breaking the cycle of abuse starts with admitting you need help.
Recognize Substance Abuse Is a Disease
Because substance abuse like this is a disease, it needs professional treatment. No matter what you say to a person who is using, they may not be able to simply stop using no matter how many times they promise or what is on the line. What they need is treatment in a safe location where their body can work through this disease. It may help them get back to living a life they love.
Even if your children are the ones that are using, it’s time to reach out for help. We offer support, including through programs such as:
- Addiction therapy programs
- Intensive outpatient program
- Young adult rehab program
- Dual diagnosis treatment program
Choose to Get Help by Calling Sunstone Recovery Today
If you have children in your life, it’s time to seek out help for your substance abuse. While you should always work on your addiction for yourself, getting sober will also help your family heal. Our team at Sunstone Recovery can provide your family with the guidance and support you need. Reach out to us by calling 855.833.9199 or connecting with us online.