When a parent or other family member is addicted to drugs and alcohol, it affects those around them. However, the primary effect is on their children who witness the problem grow progressively worse each day. As such, treatment for addiction often includes some form of family therapy. During therapy sessions, parents learn how addiction affects children.
Since children are affected by addiction, they need to seek professional help at an addiction treatment center. When the entire family is involved in treatment, the client is more likely to complete rehab successfully and avoid a relapse. Let’s take a closer look below at how addiction affects children.
How Addiction Affects Children
Young children and adolescents process substance abuse differently than adults. Part of the reason for this is because they are still going through psychological development at an early age. As a result, some of the effects of addiction may not affect the child until several years later. Often, professionals refer to this condition as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Early exposure to intense family conflict can cause children to feel unsafe and emotionally unstable. A child may also feel that they are to blame for the parent’s condition. In the most extreme cases where abuse is a fact, a child may need to be removed from the home. Children are often the greatest victims of addiction. Consequently, they need therapy as much as the user.
Teenage and College Addiction
Teenagers or college students addicted to a substance put an emotional, financial, and mental toll on their parents or siblings. Yet, like any other addiction, family members find themselves not equipped to handle addiction. As a result, they may withdraw from the problem, create more conflict, or try to placate the teenager.
Furthermore, parents often lack the skills or knowledge necessary to intervene when their child has an addiction. They may be too forceful in trying to get the teenager to quit or ignore the problem, hoping it will go away. In either case, parents need to consult a treatment specialist when trying to intervene.
Helping a Family Member Who Has an Addiction
Most families are unaware of how addiction affects families until the problem has grown unmanageable. Once this occurs, the best thing a family can do is get helped for their loved one. This starts by contacting a treatment center in Arizona. A treatment center offers a wide range of services including:
- A comprehensive detox center
- Inpatient and outpatient rehab
- Individual, group, and family therapy
- Aftercare programs for families
- Support groups for each member of the family
Families can get the help they need from licensed specialists who can treat both the addict and each member.
Learn More About How Addiction Affects Children
If you would like to learn about how addiction affects children, then contact Phoenix Rising today. We offer complete treatment for types of addictions. Our services are available for both addicts and their families. To get started with your treatment, call 855.232.8211.