Those who regularly use alcohol and/or other drugs may not realize how their behavior can interfere with their ability to parent and greatly increase the likelihood of accidents and injury to themselves and their children.
A parent tired and worn out from drug or alcohol use has little ability to praise or offer guidance and appropriate discipline to a child. Under the influence of drugs or alcohol, parents may not be able to respond to active, curious children who may put themselves in risky situations. And the stress of withdrawal increases the likelihood of a parent neglecting or harming the child.
A parent who is craving drugs or coming down from a high cannot help his or her children with their homework. They may also expect older children to help younger siblings, failing to recognize that children need adult help. Some parents who use drugs have older children stay home from school “to watch the younger children.” This interferes with the older child’s education and puts them further and further behind in school.
Finally, when parents use substances, their cravings may cause them to use essential money needed for diapers and food on drugs.