Here is the final article in our mini-series, looking at the outcome of adults who have experienced living with a parent or parents who were chronically using drugs, binge drinking alcohol or had addictions to both. With their testimony, those currently going through a similar situation may benefit from the experience of those who’ve lived with a parent(s) as addicts before.
There are many adults among us, many of whom you might not recognise with intimate knowledge of what it’s like to grow up with an addicted parent.
Sadly, there are also many people who love those adults and don’t know what it is like to have become an adult who was once a child raised amongst chaos, instability, fear, shame, embarrassment, frustration and even anger.
For many of us, our entire childhood was swathed in dysfunction. As development goes, the severe dysfunction of our childhood probably resulted in severely delayed or stunted emotional, mental, educational, financial and even physical growth in certain cases.
This article is compiled by combining the most commonly felt issues that they’ve experienced when they were younger and had a parent, parents or guardians who were misusing drugs, binging on alcohol and developing an addiction to drugs and alcohol.
Children living in homes where there is parental substance use or addiction can find life difficult, unpredictable, upsetting and confusing just to list a few examples. Sometimes they may even believe the alcohol or drug use is their fault.
That’s why purposefully preparing to speak to your kids, knowing what to say and having as much information about substance use and addiction as possible provides them with the reassurance and information they need as they walk along your recovery journey with you side by side.
This article hopes to help you better prepare and inform you about what’s happened to lead you upto this point, what’s going to happen and what’s to expect when you enter recovery and how you can mutually support each other going forward to ensure that you make the most of this vitally needed discussion.
Studies tell us that the children of alcohol addicts and drug users are eight times more likely to become addicts than the children of clean and sober parents.
So why do the sons and daughters of addicts experience a significantly higher likelihood of developing their own addiction later on in life?
One could argue that close proximity to substance use throughout the child’s childhood gives them the idea that experimenting with using or drinking, relying upon substances to manage stress or negative feelings or using/drinking to satisfy a physical and mental dependency is “okay” or “normal”.
We discuss this issue in more detail, along with ways to help manage and overcome this issue. This article is part of our mini-series, looking at the effects substance use and addiction play in educating our children to reduce the amount of people who develop addictions and avoid recreationally using drugs and binge drinking later on in life.