Some addicts believe their addictions hurt only themselves, but this is far from the truth. Opiate addicts devastate both their friends and family members, but parents who are opiate addicts create particularly troubling problems for their children if they avoid help. It is important to seek professional treatment as soon as possible to get clean and be a better parent.
How Opiate Addiction Develops
Long-term opiate abuse risks addiction, dependency and tolerance. It creates many symptoms although the most notable ones are strong compulsions for drug use. These compulsions, more commonly known as cravings, occur despite resulting problems; for instance, some people continue abusing opiates even when they lose their children to Child Protective Services. Addicted parents may feel such strong compulsions to use drugs that they cannot stay clean despite the consequences, but this may harm both them and others.
How a Parent’s Opiate Addiction Affects Young Children
Young children whose parents are opiate addicts may suffer countless problems. Bonding is a key factor for young children, but opiate addicts will prioritize drug use over their children, thus being incapable of making healthy bonds. This is a major issue because the parent relationship is the most important relationship in a child’s life. Drug-using parents may also struggle to identify the needs of their young children, especially as opiates alter their perceptions. In the end, opiate addicts will neglect the needs of their children, which can cause lifelong problems. In fact, the children of opiate addicts may suspect others, particularly adults, as they age leading to enduring trust issues that color relationships for years. They may also focus on themselves while believing they must meet all of their own needs. In addition to this, these children may have difficulty regulating their emotions or understanding other people’s emotions. In other words, the children of opiate addicts may have trouble forming and maintaining relationships with others.
How a Parent’s Opiate Addiction Affects Adolescents
Opiate addicts hurt their children differently as their kids grow up. Children of opiate addicts often lack supervision, especially when one or both parents are addicts. Acquiring opiates to feed an addiction is neither cheap nor easy, so parents may do anything to obtain more drugs often to the neglect of their children. In searching for drugs, they may leave children behind, during which time children may follow their parent’s example and use drugs themselves. Also, parentification is a term used to describe a reversal of parent-child roles. In other words, the children of opiate addicts may learn to care for themselves, their siblings and perhaps even their own parents, which can forever cripple their development. To avoid or address these types of problems, seek help for your opiate abuse.
Opiate Addiction Help for Parents
All children and adolescents deserve a healthy living environment in which they feel loved and cared for. When parents become addicted to drugs like opiates, children immediately suffer. The exposure to the drug abuse and resulting neglect will affect their lives forever.
If you or someone you know struggles with opiate addiction, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you have about opiate addiction treatment, so reach out right now for professional, confidential support. We want to help you live a sober life and help protect your family in the process.