An estimated 8.7 million children ages 17 and younger live in a household where at least one parent suffers from alcohol or substance abuse. Reports show that most of these children do not have contact with child welfare services. In California and other states, most children will continue to live with addicted parents for the bulk of their childhood. Sometimes, child custody may be renounced if relatives step in and offer to take care of them.
Unwritten rules in households with addiction present are don’t talk, don’t trust and don’t feel. This often leads to a child’s inability to express emotions. Addiction spillover effects on children are revealing themselves in social service offices across the country. Social workers offer support, discuss changes and try to find positives in often-grim situations while encouraging kids to talk in a safe environment.
Agencies continue to see an increase in physical abuse cases and drug-related neglect because of addiction in the home. Non-offending parents or the foster system often bring children in for treatment. Experts agree that children would benefit from mental health services, but even with treatment, those kids will continue to have problems for the rest of their lives.
Opioid use has reached epidemic proportions and is considered to be the number one problem across the country. Addiction does not discriminate, and it can impact anyone from any walk of life. In California, parents who have concerns about their children and the custodial parent they live with may benefit from speaking with a lawyer. An incisive attorney knowledgeable about drug addiction and child custody issues can answer questions they may have.
Source: thetimesherald.com, “Children swept up in addiction’s wake,” Jeremy Ervin, Jan. 19, 2018