For many children around the world, the struggle of living with a parent who is addicted to drugs or alcohol is all too real. While it’s easy to ignore the problem if you aren’t directly affected by it, or even if you are the one in the throes of addiction, it doesn’t make it any less impactful. In fact, more than eight million children are currently living with an addicted parent.
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According to sources cited from the infographic above, 25 percent of those living within the United States will have firsthand exposure to alcoholism before they turn 18 years of age. Moreover, of the 8.3 million children who are currently living with an addicted parent, approximately 12% are under the age of 18.
Broken Families and Broken Homes
As of 2012, addiction to drugs or alcohol made up over 30% of all cases involving the removal of children for placement in foster care services. These studies continued on to state that 19% of these children will participate in underage drinking, while 56% while dabble in recreational or street drugs.
On top of all this, children who have one or more alcoholic parent are four times more likely to become an addict themselves. In fact, approximately 33% of alcoholics indicate the presence of an alcoholic parent when they were younger.
Problems in School
Rampant drug or alcohol abuse can even lead to problems with your children’s school life. Apart from giving them a reputation amongst their peers, studies indicated that 30% of these children will be suspended from school at least once in their lifetime. Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that 41% of children who are living with an addicted parent will repeat at least one grade.
Increased Living Expenses
In case the physical and mental damage of your alcoholism or drug abuse isn’t enough, you’ll also have to worry about the increased living expenses associated with the lifestyle. According to recent statistics, the average healthcare expenses for addicts are 32% higher than those without addiction problems. Children who live with an addicted parent are also more prone to both mental and physical issues with their health.
Overcoming Addiction and Breaking the Cycle
As you can see, there is a definite correlation between a parent’s drug or alcohol abuse and that of their children. However, if you realize that you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, just remember it’s never too late to receive help. In fact, seeking immediate assistance with your addiction might even prevent your children from following the same path.