Impact of Parental Drug Abuse on Children

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Parental drug abuse can have severe implications on children’s life. Children of parents who abuse drugs are found to have various behavioral problems, social problems, emotional/mental problems, developmental issues etc. Such children are prone to get affected by problems like depression, poor academic performance, improper social behavior, delinquency etc. It is also found that children of drug addicted parents are more likely to take up drugs or alcohol in their later life. Parents who abuse drugs affect the children in number of ways.

Impact on Children’s:
The family life of drug abusing parents is characterized by unpredictability, aggressive behavior, lack of communication etc.

The children with parents who abuse drugs are found to have number of health related issues. Parents who abuse drugs are more likely to have sudden mood swings, aggression, improper behavior which casts a lasting effect on children. Children can suffer from stress related health problems like gastrointestinal disorders, migraines, headaches, or asthma. There are also chances of children getting injured due to neglect from parents. Even drug abuse by mother during pregnancy is associated with long term effects on the child. Some harmful effects on unborn child include brain deformities, growth irregularities, developmental issues, neonatal withdrawal syndrome, cognitive impairment, mental retardation etc. The children in the drug abusing families suffer from other health problems due to maltreatment and malnourishment arising out of neglect.


Drug abusing parents will also have disturbing consequences on academics of their children. The children are likely to suffer from learning disabilities, academic deficiencies, poor performance at schools, repeat more grades etc due to continuous unhealthy and stressful atmosphere at their homes. The children can not concentrate on their studies and homework as their mind is preoccupied due to verbal abuse, stress in their homes. Also, the children cannot work to their maximum potential as their attention is gripped on the drug abusing parent. The children may develop behavioral problems in schools like not communicating with anyone, slow, crying etc.

<b>Financial Status</b>
The parents who abuse drugs have wider implications on financial status of the family that also affects children. As parents may spend their entire earning in obtaining the drugs, the education, basic amenities, and requirements of children get neglected. The addicted parents may neglect to fulfill necessary obligations like paying rents, mortgage repayments etc. The parents also stand chance of losing their jobs due to decreased ability to work. Also, the families have to bear the cost towards treatment of the drug addict parents due to various ailments which disturbs the financial status of family. The further education of children also hampers as parents put money from resources to fund their drug addiction.

Parents who abuse drugs often show behavioral problems, personality disorders, depression etc. Such mental condition affects the relationship, interaction, and social fabric between parents and children. Parents who suffer from such problems will be in a depressed state of mind, show less inclination towards communication and less affection for their children. Such children who receive less affection from their parents develop low self esteem, low confidence, insecurity etc.

The children of parents who abuse drugs also suffer from various emotional effects like mistrust, guilt, shame, confusion, insecurity etc. Parental drug abuse affects the overall development of the children as parents suffer from unemployment, illnesses, domestic violence, legal problems etc.

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