incredible-marketing Arrow

The Impact of Parental Substance Use on Children

It can be difficult to recognize the impact your actions and behaviors can have on those closest to you. Moreover, as a parent, it can be hard to acknowledge how your substance use may be impacting your children. At The Guest House, we know the brain is wired to gravitate toward actions that artificially stimulate positive emotions like happiness, comfort, and reward. However, the desire to replicate those artificial emotions creates a loop of dependency that puts substance at the center of your world. Understanding the impact of your parental substance use on your children is paramount for motivating treatment and recovery.

Impaired Parenting

According to a booklet from Child Welfare, parental substance use can increase the risk of maltreatment through impaired parenting. Listed below are some ways that your parenting ability can be impaired by substance use:

  • Increased difficulties regulating your emotions
  • Improper assessment of your children’s emotions
  • Increased difficulties attending to your children’s emotional needs
  • Decreased knowledge of parenting and child development practices
  • Low and or harmful discipline skills
  • Decreased parental involvement
  • Reduced attentiveness to child monitoring
  • Diminished pleasure in parenting
  • Preoccupation with substances

Moreover, your impaired parenting ability can harm your children’s lives and lead to adverse experiences with long-lasting consequences.

Parental Substance Use and Adverse Childhood Experiences

As the Child Welfare booklet notes, adverse childhood experiences (ACE) can include a wide range of traumatic events, such as substance use disorder (SUD). Moreover, as stated in an article from the Clinical Psychology Review, adverse developmental outcomes are likely derived from ineffective parenting practices from parents under the influence of substances. Therefore, parental substance use can lead to ACE-like neglect as well as emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. The consequences of ACE can impair behavior and relationship development, and increase your children’s risk of developing SUD later in life.

However, you can decrease the chances of ACE and support your children’s wellness by addressing your well-being.

Addressing Parental Substance Use

At The Guest House, we know the root of SUD is typically a response to unaddressed trauma that can manifest itself in harmful ways. We specialize in treating trauma and the whole person: mind, body, and spirit. Deepening your understanding of your SUD and self-defeating behaviors gives you the opportunity to rediscover yourself without substances. Furthermore, deepening your understanding of yourself in a safe and non-judgmental space gives you the room to truly dismantle unhealthy coping skills and foster a healthier self for you and your family.

Parental substance use can impair your parenting ability, which can lead to exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACE) like neglect and emotional abuse. Therefore, ACE can cause developmental and behavioral difficulties, as well as impair children’s ability to build and maintain healthy relationships throughout their lives. Moreover, ACE can increase children’s risk for substance use disorder. At The Guest House, we believe addressing your trauma can help you understand and dismantle self-defeating behavior to support your whole family on your journey to recovery. Call us at (855) 483-7800 to learn how you can rediscover yourself in recovery.