Parents; they are the up bringers, the role models and the major influential forces in the lives of their children. Each and every action of theirs is looked up to, and each and every of their lessons about life and teachings are absorbed, imbibed and put into practice by their children. The actions and behavior of the children can be traced back to the behavior and the actions of their parents. Thus, the fact that the parents have to watch themselves before watching their children, and setting an example before preaching them, is necessary for them to ensure a good up bringing of their children. But what if the parents themselves are defaulters in some respect, and ignorant of the fact stated above, indirectly influence the psychology, behavior, personality and life of their kids, in a bad way? Yes, there exist parents like these who have no idea how their actions and ignorance is ruining the life of their children. Among these parents include the ones who are drug addicts.
Effects of Drug abuse by the parents, on their children
- It creates a chaotic home life: when the parents become drug addicts, the children, who are supposed to be leading and living in a joyous childhood, are forced to throw it away and assume the role of financial responsibility to keep the home running, in additions to various other responsibilities such as taking care of their younger siblings etc. The lack of communication between the parents who prove themselves to be incompetent in such situations, breeds distrust in the mind of their own children for them.
- It breeds violence. Drug abuse and violence are closely related. Parents who are into drug abuse become short tempered and can harm their own children physically in their intoxicated condition. They might also harass them sexually or they might neglect the existence of their children completely. All of this might lead to their children developing PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as a result of trauma.
- It contributes to mental health problems. Parents involved in drug abuse are more likely to deal with things like financial problems, due to their withdraw from their respective jobs to indulge in drugs and/or spending large sum of money to buy those contra brands, divorce from their spouse due to domestic violence or neglect that they give to them, due to their indulgence in drugs, physical abuse, and legal problems, when they are discovered by the law authorities to be involved in these kinds of illegal affairs which can all cause stress at home, to both the parents and consequently the children. Children of drug addicts have a higher possibility of committing suicide attempts, having eating disorders, anxiety, and depression when compared with their peers.
- It contributes to physical health problems. children of substance abusers may suffer from stress-related health issues such as migraines or gastrointestinal problems as a result of the unbecoming attitude and behavior of their parents towards them, as a result of drug abuse. Used needles and other drug apparatus may also create an unsanitary, septic and unhygienic living environment due to which the children are more prone to health problems.
- It creates difficulties at school. Children whose parents abuse drugs tend to have a poor performance in academics due to the distraction that they feel while being taught, due to the constant terror of the incident that might have happened that morning or would occur in the evening due to the regressed behavior of their parents due to drug abuse. This leads top them accumulating a lot of emotional and psychological stress, lack of sleep, and worries or fears. This might also affect their social life as they might feel deterred from making any friends at school lest they might find out about the condition of their parents. Also, in an event when anyone in the school would find out about this, rumors would spread and it would become difficult for them to even go to school because of this thus leading them to drop out of school.
- It fuels emotional issues The children of drug addicts are more likely to harbor feelings of mistrust, hatred, fear, insecurity and shame over the violent, ignorant , uncaring and neglecting attitude of their parents towards them. It also creates a lack of respect of the children for their elders and their teachers and they tend to generalize all the adults to be like their parents.
- It increases their own risk of drug addiction. Children of drug abusing parents are more than twice as likely to have a drug disorder or fall into other bad habits, by imitating their parents or develop these habits in their adulthood as compared to their peers.
Thus, it is the parents that need to understand that they are the first and the foremost beings that their children would look up to, idolize and imitate, and it is their behavior that would shape the personality and life of their children. Thus, it is not only them but also the society that needs to keep in check and ensure a good upbringing of these kids in a healthy ambience so that they could become ideal citizens of the nation tomorrow. Thank You.