Alcohol Abuse Impacts Children: Study

Children of alcoholics suffer deep-rooted psychological and emotional problems, which eventually leads to antisocial personality disorder in them. Parental addiction can prove to be hazardous for children, limiting their social life and hampering their normal development. According to a recent study by Duke University, when teenagers witness others drink alcohol or abuse drugs, it is more likely that they will engage in antisocial behavior on the same day.

Candice Odgers, associate professor in Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy and associate director of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy, said, “Past research has shown that children who grow up in families, schools and neighborhoods where alcohol and drugs are frequently used are at risk for behavioral problems later in life, but our findings demonstrate that these effects are immediate.” So, contrary to what you thought to be harmless or less harmful, effects of alcoholism could be quite instantaneous and dreaded.

In another study conducted in collaboration with Odgers, lead author Michael Russell said, “Our findings support the idea that situations where others are using alcohol or drugs may serve as ‘triggering contexts’ for adolescents’ problematic behavior, and that some youth, by virtue of their genetics, appear more sensitive to these environmental risks than others.” These findings reiterate and vehemently support that young adolescents need to be protected from exposure to alcoholism and drug abuse.

How alcoholism affects your child

A number of studies have indicated that alcohol abuse by parents have a devastating effect on children. They become susceptible to substance abuse, criminal behavior and various health issues later in their lives. The following are the impacts that alcoholics usually have on their children:

Children imitate alcoholic parents: Children always look up to their parents, especially when they are young and unfamiliar with the outside world. So if you are an alcoholic, your teenaged child may easily get swayed by the idea of drinking and consider it a “cool” thing to do. If you are an alcoholic and want to save your young child from an imminent hazard, look for an alcohol rehab in the area. The alcohol abuse treatment options in California are among the best in the country.

Children are exposed to drinking at an early age: Your alcoholism may lead your adolescent child to become an alcoholic later in his or her life. A series of studies has shown that consuming alcohol before the age of 15 causes a wide range of problems later, including substance dependency, involvement in criminal behavior and health problems. “Our findings suggest that we may also need to prevent exposure to others using substances during this period,” says Odgers.

Alcoholism has negative impact on children’s psyche and health: A child’s psyche and physical health is also at risk as he or she may harbor stress and concerns about parents’ well-being. A child is predisposed to violence and antisocial acts, bringing disrepute to the family. Moreover, distorted thought processes may replace creative and constructive thoughts in a child’s mind and cause stress-related health hazards.

There could be an array of other harmful effects, apart from those mentioned above. In her book “Adult Children of Alcoholics,” author Janet Geringer Woititz has enlisted the following issues that these children may have to brave in their lives:

  1. They are always confused as to what is normal or healthy.
  2. They find it difficult to complete tasks and projects.
  3. They are overly critical of themselves.
  4. They feel a life-long need for approval and affirmation.
  5. They show a frequent impulsive behavior, which only aggravates problems and as adults, they have difficulty with intimate relationships.

Hence, as responsible parents, the onus of protecting your child from any impending threat from alcoholism and other substance abuse is entirely on you. To treat yourself and go sober, enroll into a highly effective program — such as the alcoholism treatment program in California. It is always better to rid yourself of alcoholism than to be penitent of having your child go to an alcohol rehab later on. For round the clock assistance and guidance, call 24x7 Alcohol Abuse Help at 866–480–6873.