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The Link Between Child Abuse and Substance Abuse

Reviewed by Michael Kaliszewski, PhD – 2019

This webpage explains parental substance abuse has a major impact on the well-being of children and is recognized as a risk factor for physical, sexual, and emotional child abuse, and child neglect. In addition, it is noted child abuse is linked to future substance abuse, with adults who were abused as children often turning to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism for dealing with their childhood trauma. Along with the development of substance abuse problems, it is explained these adults are at increased risk for abusing their own children. The importance of substance abuse treatment for adult seeking recovery and looking to break the intergenerational cycle of child abuse and neglect is emphasized. 8 references.