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Parental Substance Abuse: A Major Health Concern in the United States

Substance abuse is a major concern to people of all ages in the United States; the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 21.5 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder (SUD) in 2014, placing many peoples’ health, finances, and families at risk. Parental substance abuse significantly affects children of all ages, with adult children also reporting significant effects years later from their parents’ substance use. Numerous studies have shown that children are affected in many areas of life: school, health, work, and home life can all be jeopardized, especially if parents are unable to fulfill responsibilities due to their substance dependencies.

A 2015 review published by the journal Substance Abuse Rehabilitation emphasized that improper parenting practices in conjunction with substance abuse can cause poor outcomes for children, including school delinquency, rule-breaking, aggression, attention problems, and other negative behavioral manifestations. Neglectful parenting could involve children consuming rotten or unhealthy food, taking care of siblings at a very young age, dealing drugs or engaging in other illegal activities in order to obtain money for household bills, and much more. Some children are exposed to harsh environments where drugs are used, leading them to use drugs themselves or to ingest toxins associated with drugs, in addition to unclean areas with garbage, bug infestation, and chemicals.

If parental substance abuse results in incarceration or other legal implications, children are at risk of being placed in foster care. The physical consequences and emotional damages were done to children from parental substance abuse are heartbreaking, with many experiencing low self-esteem, difficulty making and keeping friends, trouble with their own finances as an adult, substance dependency later on, and a continued cycle of domestic violence and/or engagement in other illegal activities.

If you are a parent struggling with substance abuse, seek the help you need today. Treatment is available and recovery is possible – by turning your life around, you are saving your children from long-lasting damage that can and will affect them for the rest of their life. Don’t wait any longer.

Everyone has a story of trauma before they come treatment. Everyone leaves with a story of recovery when they leave treatment. The Guest House Ocala is a private treatment center specializing in the treatment of trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues. Your program of care is customized according to your specific experiences and needs. Our luxury amenities provide the highest level of quality care and comfort so you feel safe, supported, and serene. Call us today for information: 1-855-483-7800