It is common knowledge that those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol experience an abundance of negative psychological and physical effects. What might be less understood is that after a lengthy period of time, people develop health problems from living with an addict.
Any children in the home will also be subjected to these same negative elements. Below are types of medical issues that can come about due to living with an addict:
Stress Related Issues
As you know, living with an addict is stressful. You are always on edge, wondering what is going to set your loved one off. You might also have financial strains due to their habit. Therefore, stress and dealing with an addict goes hand-in-hand.
Stress brought on by your living situation can lead to all kinds of disorders including everything from gastrointestinal issues to heart problems.
Depressive Disorders and Anxiety
Stress was just mentioned as a negative aspect associated with living with an addict. However, depression and anxiety go a step above stress. These conditions combine to cause chaos in an otherwise normal, well-adjusted child.
It has been proven that these disorders are more common in adolescents who are children of addicts than in kids whose parents are not struggling with substance abuse. This is especially true in regards to females.
Presence of Malnutrition
According to small scale study posted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information that followed 75 children who had heroin-addicted parents, up to 17% of the 75 kids polled had experienced some form of malnutrition.
It is easy to understand how malnutrition and living with an addict could coincide. After all, when a parent is high, who is going to see to the nutritional needs of the kids? Therefore, it is understandable that kids who live in such households sometimes are neglected and left to fend for themselves in regards to food.
The Utilization of Health Care Services
According to study conducted by the Center on Addiction and Family that compared 595 children’s hospital admissions, children of addicts had a 24% higher overall inpatient admission rate and stayed for 29% longer than children who did not live around addicts.
The reason behind these hospital admissions included:
- Mental disorders
- Diseases of the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems
- Other issues
Greater Risk of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
There have been countless studies performed that reveal the connection, both environmentally and genetically, between parents who abuse drugs and their offspring becoming addicts as well.
According to information from the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, children of alcoholics are approximately 3 to 4% more likely to develop alcoholism when compared to other children from non-alcoholic homes.
Stopping the Emotional Trauma of Addiction
The many negative results of living with an addict could go on to include other problems outside of the medical arena. However, the elements listed above are just a few of the many medical problems that can be the result of living with an addict.
The emotional trauma that is inflicted is of course harder to measure, but is still very real. In other words, there is going to be some damage done if you continue to allow children to live around addicts, it’s just a matter of time before it presents itself.