National Alliance For Drug Endangered Children

Help. Hope. Support.

Donate Today

Find Out How You Can Help

Families In Crisis: How Parental Substance Abuse And Mental Health Impacts Kids

Dr. Todd Thatcher, DO, CMO – 2020

It’s no secret that addiction ruins lives. The impact of addiction reverberates in every part of society, across cultures, socioeconomic levels, and age groups. When parents become addicted to drugs and alcohol, it impacts their physical and emotional health, behaviors, and ability to effectively parent their kids. One in five children in the U.S. live in a home with a parent who is addicted to drugs or alcohol. Parental substance abuse severely impacts children’s health and development; it establishes an unspoken understanding of the role substances play in being an adult. Norms are established from a young age, and when addiction and substance abuse are part of those norms, children learn to follow suit, often from a young age. Genetic factors also contribute to a child’s likelihood for addiction. The combination of childhood experiences, environment, and genetic factors can increase children’s likelihood of having addiction at some point in their lives. Children who come from homes in which parents were addicted to drugs or alcohol are more likely to start using drugs earlier in their lives and become addicted more quickly than peers from homes without substance abuse. If you are a parent dealing with substance abuse, contact a team member today for help.