Why Children of Alcoholics Are More Likely to Face Prison - ATS

Study: Children of Mothers Who Misuse Alcohol Are More Likely to Face Prison

Study Children Of Alcohol Misuse Likely To Face Prison - Addiction Treatment ServicesThe Research Society on Alcoholism recently conducted a study of the link between mothers who misused alcohol and their children’s likelihood of engaging in criminal activity later in life.

Most people are aware of the ways alcohol abuse contributes to crime rates, including DUI accidents, interpersonal violence and domestic abuse. However, parents with alcohol-related disorders can have many more negative influences on their children, including propelling them into early contact with the criminal justice system.

The study of nearly 60,000 mothers concluded that children of mothers with alcohol-related disorders were nearly twice as likely to face the justice system as children of mothers with no alcohol-related disorders. At Addiction Treatment Services, we want everyone to realize that seeking treatment for yourself or your struggling loved one sooner rather than later can help prevent contributing to this trend.

How Alcohol Abuse Affects Kids

Children of parents with alcohol-related disorders often suffer in numerous ways due to their parents’ behavior. This can include direct abuse from parents, neglect, financial ruin, trauma and psychological disorders later in life.

Children caught in these situations often don’t have much choice in the matter, nor do they typically have the capacity to seek help on their own behalf. The various possibilities all trend toward these children growing up with a higher likelihood of giving in to risky behavior.

Here are a few of the ways parental alcoholism contributes to this crisis:

Domestic Abuse

Children often suffer physical abuse from alcoholic parents. Alcohol significantly impairs judgment and increases emotional volatility. Advanced alcohol-related disorders can cause parents to lose touch with reality.

Physical abuse early in life often causes children to develop unhealthy attachments to, or interpretations of, violence. Children with abusive parents often grow up to have difficulties in other relationships as well.

Neglect and Financial Ruin

Parents with advanced alcohol-related disorders regularly fail to complete daily household tasks or other mundane but essential actions, such as cleaning clothes and preparing food. In some cases, parents neglect obligations such as getting to work and paying bills on time, leaving their children with little choice but to endure the consequences.

In these situations, children may go extended periods without clean clothes, utilities, decent food or other necessities. Over time, financial burdens can lead to homelessness, disease and other negative health effects.

How Kids Interpret Their World

Children of parents with alcohol-related disorders often consider their surroundings normal, because they don’t understand the severity of the situation. Kids in these situations aren’t likely to seek help because they simply grow accustomed to their environment.

Not only are they unlikely to seek help for their parents’ alcohol-related issues, but the abuse and neglect they endure becomes normalized. Children who grow up in these conditions are more likely to develop antisocial tendencies and engage in risky behavior.

Seek Treatment with Addiction Treatment Services’ Help

If you or someone close to you is struggling with alcohol abuse, it’s imperative to seek treatment as soon as possible. If children are involved, the need is even greater. Kids who grow up exposed to substance abuse are more likely to engage in it themselves, and this is just one possible avenue of exposure to the justice system.

At Addiction Treatment Services, we understand the dramatic effects alcohol-related issues have on families, especially children. Your children are more than statistics. Help prevent your kids from making dangerous choices by seeking professional guidance in your search for alcohol treatment now.

When Addiction Occurs in the Family, Children Face the Risk of Becoming Addicted Too

When Addiction Is Passed Down Among Generations

Addiction Families Can’t Wait For Rock Bottom

Addiction: Families Can’t Wait for Rock Bottom

Addiction Families Can’t Wait For Rock BottomA long-standing and dangerous misconception surrounding substance abuse is that a person suffering from an addiction needs to hit an all-time low, or “rock bottom,” before he or she will fully recognize the severity of their situation and seek help. This is not only false, but potentially harmful and even fatal. Every addiction case is different, and there is no correct approach that fits every single substance abuser. Effective treatment depends on separating myths about mental illness and substance abuse from fact. Ultimately, this effort begins in the home.

Waiting for Rock Bottom Doesn’t Work

Substance use disorder is far more than just cravings for a particular drug or alcohol. It can completely alter an individual’s personality and make him or her act in ways that their loved ones would have never expected. When family members believe that individuals struggling with addiction need to wait for rock bottom to make a real change, they are essentially prolonging that person’s suffering and opening the door to life-threatening health complications.

It’s also important to recognize that substance abuse doesn’t solely impact a user’s personal life and health – it can also cripple them financially, destroy their careers and alienate them from loved ones. The longer family members wait to push their addicted loved ones into treatment, the greater the risk for life-altering consequences. For example, substances like opioid pain killers take a dramatic toll on the human body. If loved ones wait for rock bottom to encourage an opioid-addicted family member to seek treatment, they are functionally sentencing their family member to death.

Interventions Work

Instead of waiting for rock bottom, family members can encourage addicted loved ones to seek help through an intervention. An intervention is a staged meeting where friends and family gather to let the struggling person know that they want to support them through recovery.

Individuals with substance abuse problems are likely to offer rationalizations and excuses if confronted one-on-one. An intervention, led by a trained professional, is one of the best ways that families can help their addicted loved ones to work through these excuses and recognize their own need for help.

Interventions Save Loved Ones from Rock Bottom

Staging an intervention isn’t always simple or straightforward. Many interventions bring deep-seated or long-standing conflicts to the surface. Emotions can easily flare and hinder constructive discussion. In fact, many of the people close to the person struggling with addiction are likely to hamper the process if they are not careful. It’s vital for every person involved to approach interventions with an open mind and a sincere willingness to help.

Improve Interventions with Professional Assistance

Interventions shouldn’t be taken lightly – they are often the “clincher” when it comes to encouraging someone to seek treatment for his substance abuse issues. When family tensions and strong emotions come into play, well-meaning loved ones may wind up doing more harm than good. Addiction Treatment Services encourages a different approach to substance abuse interventions. By leveraging the expertise of professional interventionists, families can devise constructive and effective strategies to help their loved one enter treatment.

Remember that addiction is a disease of isolation; most substance abusers feel trapped by their predicaments and often feel too ashamed to seek treatment. In cases like these, the best help that a family can offer is through powerful demonstrations of their support. A professionally staged intervention is one way that loving families can provide this help.

The Addiction Treatment Services Difference

Most people dealing with substance abuse issues today didn’t set out to live an unhealthy lifestyle.  Prescription painkillers, for example, are the leading cause of overdose deaths and new addiction cases in the country. Despite their deadly nature, much of the blame of the epidemic can be put on health professionals who over-prescribe powerful medications. These types of addiction progress very quickly. A person could find themselves hooked on the drug and in need of an intervention before they know it.

Our family-first approach to intervention encourages the people struggling with substance abuse to acknowledge their loved ones’ concerns. Likewise, we encourage families to meet their addict loved one where they are at instead of waiting for rock bottom.

Learn More About the Dangers of Delaying an Intervention

Stop Waiting for Rock Bottom

Former Coach Fights Addiction in the Community

stop addictionIn order to really fight addiction on a local level, it takes individuals and groups within each community to take a stand and make a difference. That is exactly what comedian Jimmy Graham is doing in Pitman, NJ. New Jersey is home to some of the most rampant heroin abuse in the nation.

Graham was a former high school football and wrestling coach who had two sons battle an addiction. He has since gone on to form a non-profit organization called Stand Up to Addiction. He encourages families to speak openly about their problems and seek help.

As part of his advocacy work, Graham even goes around and confronts people who are known drug dealers in the neighborhood. “I found out also some of the dealers were my wrestlers and football players, too, and that just killed me,” he said. He also goes around and has planted signs in their yards that read, “Not in our town, stop or leave.”

Most people who become strong advocates in the community have had personal experiences with addiction, either overcoming it themselves or having a loved one get caught up in it.

Graham now makes his living as a stand-up comedian. He has a couple benefit shows scheduled and plans to start organizing community meetings as well. Although some of his tactics may be considered unconventional, his purpose falls directly in line with the national organization known as the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA).
If you would like to help a similar effort in your area, check out CADCA’s registry for local resources, or start something on your own like Jimmy Graham did. You might be surprised about how much support you have and the amount of good you can do.

Children of Alcoholics and Drug Addicts – Breaking the Cycle

parentAddiction treatment professionals have long cautioned parents and children that addiction is a disease and can be passed down to other family members. The extent to which substance abuse dependency can affect offspring has always been in question, as there are learned behaviors as well as genetic factors that formulate the risk of the pattern repeating with a new generation.

Research suggests that children who are born to a family with one immediate relative that suffers from a drug or alcohol problem are eight times more likely to develop a similar problem later on life. This compelling information points to a greater need for education and prevention, including being able to identify and address other risk factors that could act as triggers.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 12% of U.S. children live in a household where one or person is an addict. Further data shows that there are at least 28 million Americans who are children of alcoholics.

“This doesn’t mean it’s certain that a child of addicted parents will become addicted. But, what the studies do show is that since addiction has a genetic component, children of addicted parents are predisposed to the disease – just as they would be if their parent had heart disease or diabetes,” explained David Bohl, a program operator in Illinois.

However, unlike many other hereditary diseases, children have a much greater chance of avoiding substance abuse issues for themselves. If they are aware that these problems exist within their family they have the ability to break the chain through conscious effort. Understanding how binge drinking and drug experimentation can lead to abuse is an important part of breaking that chain.

For people who do get caught up in repeating the cycle, there is help available. Contact Addiction Treatment Services for information about effective rehabilitation programs and intervention services today.

How Parents Who Abuse Drugs Can Affect their Children

Young couple with problemsAs the drug problem in the country continues, it is clear that addiction does not discriminate. One cannot judge a person based on their position in society, education or family history. Unfortunately, many children across the United States have grown up living with an addict as a parent. The effect this can have on a child can be devastating for some.

According to recent reports, 12 percent of children in the United States are currently living with someone who is addicted to drugs. This means that there are over 8.3 million children who are surrounded with the destruction that comes along with a substance abuse problem. As if this statistic was not bad enough, the odds that a child of an addict becomes an addict themselves are greatly increased. Perhaps seeing person that they love so much succumb to an addiction makes it ok for the child to do the same, or perhaps these children have given up on living any other sort of life, or maybe they are trying to be like their parents and it is purely a learned behavior. For whatever reason, the addiction problems and related behaviors continue on through many of these children.

Several years ago a study was conducted to assess the damage created in children who have gone through traumatic or threatening life experiences. The study was called the Adverse Childhood Experiences study. The study showed that almost 27 percent of children who fell into the category of an adverse childhood had someone close to them addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. The study further concluded that these children had an increased likelihood to become addicts themselves, acquire a sexually transmitted disease, become obese and have other health problems like heart disease, liver problems, and chronic lung problems.

Addiction is a selfish behavior, and when an addict has children they often suffer tremendously for a long time to come. Many times when people are approached about going to treatment, they do agree to go in order to try and be better parents. When substance abusers fail to protect their children, then society often intervenes and removes the kids from the unhealthy environment, when the far better scenario in most cases is to ensure the parents get the treatment they desperately need.

Enabling vs. Tough Love – Is There a Happy Medium?

For every argument that can be made about approaching substance abuse with tough love, somebody comes up with one about having sympathy and support for someone abusing alcohol or other drugs. There is an unclear line between enabling and empathy sometimes, just as there can be for a lack of tolerance for destructive behavior vs. being sympathetic to someone’s situation in life.

Where is the line drawn? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer.

On one hand, there are countless examples of people who were too harsh on teens, who just wound up meeting more resources for drug use and continued to rebel with more frequent and varied drug use. On the other hand, you have the extreme of people writing it off and then losing a child to an overdose or some other drug-related tragedy.

Our best advice when dealing with a loved one who has fallen into the trap of substance abuse is to look at the whole picture and examine all your options. There are so many different types of services available to help that there is bound to be a plan that is right for your situation.

Examples of these include more education about substance abuse, various forms of interventions, outpatient counseling or therapy, detoxification, inpatient treatment, sober living environments, meetings or other support groups and more.

This is one of the things we specialize in – helping you to assess the problem and look for workable solutions. Deciding out of pure anger, frustration or on the other end with complete sympathy can cloud your vision. The goal should be to choose a plan of action that allows for the least harm done, not just for the individual, but for the family as a whole, which can often be difficult. As long as your decisions are made with the intent to help and support, your chances of making the right choice are increased exponentially.

Contact us today for more information and help with your intervention and addiction treatment options.

Next Step: A Debit Card Marketed to Addicts

The Next StepOne thing that drug dealers do not like is dealing with anything other than cash. Knowing that, there is a new prepaid debit card that is addressing that very issue. Imagine a MasterCard with built-in controls so that cardholders cannot use it at liquor stores, bars, escort services, casinos, tattoo parlors or piercing shops.

The card is being marketed to those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. The new card is called Next Step and will be available soon, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Cardholders will also not be able to access cash at ATM’s or receive cash back with any purchases. The purpose is to make it harder to buy drugs or to do anything that could hinder recovery.

The Next Step: Keeping the Drugs Out of Your Hands

Eric Dresdale, 28, co-founder of the parent company Next Step Network and also a recovering addict, says that cash is a huge trigger for those in recovery so cash is not accessible. This is a totally G-rated debit card. It also has another sound purpose and that is to help people start building good credit.

Any co-signer on the card has the option to choose daily spending limits and limit the number of transactions per month that the person makes. Eric Dresdale says, “The card will keep the holder’s financial habits on a very short leash”.

Better to Spend on Something That Will Save Your Life Than Kill You

The Next Step debit card will cost $9.95 to purchase and have a $14.95 monthly maintenance fee. This is much more expensive than other cards but it is for those that are serious about controlled money management. Research has indicated that those with a history of substance abuse are less likely to use drugs or alcohol when they outsource control of their money.

This is a fantastic idea for the recovery community. It is an added layer of defense for those that have substance abuse problems. There is no way to make sure that someone who wants to use can’t but this card is a way to make it more difficult for it to happen. If anything, it will make someone with a dependency at least take a second thought about their actions before they consider relapse.

Addicted with Life Inside You

Addicted with life inside youThere is nothing that is much worse than knowing that the baby that you love and plan to raise is growing inside of the womb of a crack head. You can call her and do everything in your power to make sure that the baby is doing alright but you can’t stop her from putting the pipe down and you know it. It is a feeling of pure helplessness.

I wanted to just reach through the phone and shake her to get her to realize what she was doing but I couldn’t be mean to her because then she wouldn’t answer my calls at all. A mid-November due date was what we were anticipating so imagine our surprise when we got the call that a baby boy was born, our baby boy, on October 3.

It’s not their choice, IT’S YOURS!

The baby was three hours away and we were less than unprepared. We rushed to the hospital to find out that our new baby was addicted to crack cocaine. He was going to have to go through withdrawals that were relieved with regular doses of morphine. We were informed that his mother had received no prenatal care at all so the due date that she told us about was completely made up.

There he lay, helpless, with his little four pound frail body. He was unable to suck a nipple so he had to have gavage feedings. It would be weeks before he would be able to come home with us. During that time he suffered a brain bleed which led to an eventual diagnosis of cerebral palsy. He also now is prone to addiction because of the genetic link. Doctors say he will actually crave the drug when he is older. Regardless, we love him more than life.

Unfortunately, my son will not be standing alone. There are more drug addicted babies being born now than ever before. Many of these babies are being born to opiate addicted mothers that abuse prescription pain killers or even heroin. This is our future! Addiction is dependent on two things, environment and genetics.

We are creating an Addicted Future

Genetically, we are creating nothing more than a generation of guaranteed future addicts. Our son was this woman’s fifth baby that was taken away by the state for drug abuse. Did anyone try to make her get her tubes tied? Nope, it was never mentioned. At age 36, how many more babies could she have to increase the numbers of the forgotten generation?

There was a recent study conducted in West Virginia by the WV Medical Journal and the results concluded that one in five women abused drugs or alcohol during their pregnancy. Drug addiction is a major problem in pregnant women, stated Dr. David Jude, professor and chairman of Marshall’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. These numbers are quite staggering.

There is no arguing that there is a shortage on programs and facilities that deal with pregnant women who are drug addicted. But, because of the surge in prescription pain pill abuse there are more grants becoming available and more programs that are catering to this serious problem. If you are pregnant and have a drug abuse problem know that there is help available and that you are not alone.