My Friend Has a Child Who is Struggling with Addiction. How Can I Help?
You don’t have to be affected by drug addiction to support a friend whose kid is struggling, or have to know exactly what to say. You just have to be there.
One kid is too many, but an astounding 12 percent of American kids (8.3 million) live with at least one parent who is addicted. Researchers working with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that approximately 7.3 million children lived with a parent who was dependent on or abused alcohol, and 2.1 million children lived with a parent who was dependent on or abused illicit drugs.
Their report, Findings for Children Living with Substance-Dependent or Substance-Abusing Parents, looked into the lives of children ages 12-18 between 2002 to 2007.
Speaking about the impact of this fact on young lives, Eric Broderick who is the acting director of SAMSHA put it this way,“The chronic emotional stress in such an environment can damage their social and emotional development and permanently impede healthy brain development, often resulting in mental and physical health problems across the lifespan. This underlines the importance of preventive interventions at the earliest possible age.”
If you have someone in your life who struggling with substance abuse, please take action. If they have a family, realize that you’re not only helping the person with a potential addiction, you’re helping the lives and futures of their children for the better. If you need more information, visit Get Help or call our Toll-Free Helpline at 1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373).