Childhood has a way of shaping the rest of your life. As a parent, you likely want to do everything in your power to help ensure that your child’s life is happy, healthy and fulfilling. If you are also struggling with a substance abuse problem, though, your addiction could potentially affect your ability to continue to maintain an active presence in your son or daughter’s life.
According to the American Addiction Centers, about a quarter of all American youths grow up in households where at least one resident has a substance abuse disorder. Statistically speaking, children who grow up in the company of alcohol or drug abusers are about twice as likely to become substance abusers themselves. Your addiction also may impact your child in numerous other ways. If you can overcome your substance abuse problem, however, your child may experience several benefits as a result.
How your child benefits from you overcoming addiction
If you can put your substance abuse problem behind you, you may find that your child has higher self-esteem as a result. You may, too, find that he or she is less likely to exhibit any behavioral or emotional problems.
When you put your addiction in the past, your child may also become less likely to experience feelings of anxiety or depression. He or she is also going to be less likely to experiment with substances him or herself once you kick your own habit, and your son or daughter is also less likely to have any use of substances progress into an addiction.
Physical hardships associated with having an addicted parent
When children have substance-abusing parents and their substance abuse leads them to abuse or neglect their children, it may have a substantial impact on that child’s physical health. Kids raised under these circumstances are more likely to have heart disease, liver disease or certain heart problems than their peers. They are also more likely to experience certain psychiatric conditions.
Remember, it is never too late to get your substance abuse problem under control.