"Children Affected by Substance Abusing Parents" is an incredible example of a paper on social and family issues. Substance abuse encompasses dependence of an individual on various mood-altering agents like drugs including marijuana; alcohol, opioids, stimulating agents, narcotic agents, depressants, inhalants, and hallucinogenic agents. Addiction to these agents not only affects the individual's personal as well as social life but it also affects the family to a greater extent especially the young children. Although occasional drinking may not turn out to be injurious, if happening on a regular basis to relieve stress it becomes detrimental (Feaster, 1996; Werner, 1986). Dealing with the substance abuse cases is complicated and it becomes, even more, when children are implicated.
Parents involved in substance abuse may deliberately or innocently bring numerous situations of predicament for their wards. Substance abuse of parents may result in- Physical effects encompassing- Fetal alcohol syndrome, the impact of opioids, PCP, LSD, and cocaine on infants and newborns, Neonatal Withdrawal Syndrome, SIDS, premature delivery, growth retardation, neglect, child abuse, child disregard, nervousness, overwhelmed temperament, a desire to satisfy or entertain others, constant fear, despair, weariness, no significance of delightful actions (Capaldi, 2008). Behavior issues displayed by the children of substance abusers encompass- temper tantrums, poignant explosions, violent behavior, burglary and untruthful temperament, hyperactive predisposition with an imperfect concentration duration, incapability, impulsiveness, independent outlook, attention-seeking conduct, children becoming addict to substances (Capaldi, 2008). Social consequences encompass- Child is ignored as little attention is being provided to the child, lack of understanding towards relationship and its importance, abnormal behavior either over-possessiveness for a friend or withdrawal of friendship, touchy about stuff (Capaldi, 2008). D.
Emotional consequences encompass- A feeling of shame inculcated in the mind of a child, distrust towards everyone, the child may always be confused, display fear of losing something or fear of ill-treatment, ambivalent nature, and guilt are some of the key features being displayed by the child (Capaldi, 2008). These could have a harmful impact on the psychology of the child which in certain cases brings irreparable damage to the child's psychological development.
Parent's neglect makes the child self-reliant and gathers the courage to take self-decisions. in certain cases, this may be beneficial as the child behaves maturely while in other cases it may result in abnormal behavior making them rebellious or anti-social (Dubowitz, 1999; West, 1987). A child is solely dependent on parents or caretakers.
Unsound mental or physical health of the parent could sow the seeds of diffidence which is harmful to normal child development. Depressed and stressed parents are more involved in quarrels and thereby building an atmosphere of stress which diminishes the child's social, emotional, and cognitive development. Poor mental and physical well-being leads to little parent-child interaction which directly influences the learning behavior as well as poor communication skills of the child (Gunn, 1997; Feaster, 1996).
Children may observe addict parents as unreliable and undependable which creates a bad impression of the parent in the young mind and may have lasting implications. Conclusion Children belonging to substance abusing parents are potentially at higher risk of adopting habits of their parents as compared to their peers. Implications of substance abuse are also displayed in the form of poor school performance resulting in meager grades, reduced concentration, and underprivileged outlook all these results in poor social predisposition reduced job opportunities culminating in depression.
It becomes highly imperative that parents must be aware of their deeds once they have a child's responsibilities.
1. Capaldi, L. (2008). the Relationship Between Parental Substance Abuse and the Effects on Young Children. Social Work Student Papers. Paper 14. Available at http://digitalcommons.providence.edu/socialwrk_students/14. [Accessed on 14th December 2011].
2. Dubowitz, H. (1999). Neglected children. California: Sage Publications.
3. Feaster, C. B. (1996). The relationship between parental chemical abuse and children’s behavior disorders. Preventing School Failure, 40, 155-161.
4. Gunn, J. B. & Duncan, G. J. (1997). The effects of poverty on children. The Future of Children, 7, 55-71.
5. Werner, E. E. (1986). Resilient offspring of alcoholics: A longitudinal study from birth to age 18. Journal of Studies on Alcohol. 47, 34-40.
6. West, M. O., Prinz, R. J. (1987). Parental alcoholism and childhood psychopathology. Psychological Bulletin, 102, 204-218.