How do children deal with their parent's substance abuse

Children of parents who have a problem with substance abuse are all affected differently, depending on how old they are, how their parents behave with their addiction and how the children react to any abuse and stress they experience. Some children will become withdrawn, while others may become extremely independent and extroverted. Some children may even follow the behaviors of their parent or parents and develop an addiction, though not necessarily the same addiction.

Regardless of what the abuse is, children are thrown into an unstable, chaotic and unpredictable environment that can leave a child feeling at a complete loss of what to do. They are torn between their feelings of love and the frustration for their parents. They never know what to expect and are constantly uncertain as to what they can do to improve the situation at home. Some children will feel that they are the cause of their parent’s addiction, either because their parent has told them they are or they feel that bad behavior and / or poor marks on their part is the main cause of the problem. Children, especially younger children, do not quite understand what is going on, so when they feel they might be the cause, they fully believe they can possibly change their parent’s behavior by altering their own. Fear plays into these situations as well, especially if the parent is mentally and physically abusive. All these emotions together can be overwhelming for the child and they can be traumatized by such events well into their future. In fact, many may even grow up to have poor relationships of their own because they are unable to trust and are afraid they might be victimized by such a situation again.

Too many children grow up in such situations without getting the help that they need. Some will eventually seek help from a therapist, others may be too embarrassed to book an appointment and many will not even realize that they can get help after they have left the situation. With the internet becoming such a popular and easy tool these days, more counselors and patients alike are taking advantage of the internet as a way to reach out and communicate. Online counseling is accessible to anyone, including children, who can gain access to the internet. Children, or the parents of children, can easily access online counseling sites from their home or cyber cafe to communicate with an online counselor in regards to their current or previous situation. The online therapist will work with the children of such situations to help them deal with them so that they can move on and develop decent lives. Online therapy can help children to better understand what they are going through and learn different ways of working their way through it. The online therapy can also help the children to help themselves move forward, leave their past behind and work towards a better life for their self. Getting help for children in these kinds of situations can be crucial, because they are at a point in their lives where they are still learning and developing. Without help, they could have a more difficult time in their adult life.