According to the Center on Addition: Children whose parents abuse alcohol and other drugs are almost 3 times more likely to be physically or sexually assaulted and more than 4 times more likely to be neglected by their parents compared to children of parents who are not substance abusers. With 28 million children of alcoholics and several million children of other drug abusers, children and adults in America who, during their lives, have been neglected and/or physically and sexually assaulted by substance-abusing parents constitute a significant portion of our population.
The effects of substance use disorder are felt by the whole family. A parent with a substance use disorder, who is mood altered, preoccupied with getting high or spending significant amount of time recovering from the effect of substances, may miss the opportunities to foster healthy parent/child attachment. Without a healthy attachment system, a child is much more vulnerable to stress and therefore more susceptible to having problems with trauma, anxiety, depression and other mental illness.
Children who do NOT have a CASA (court appointed special advocate) are more likely to become abusers, drop out of school and have a criminal background. Studies have shown that when children have CASA’s they thrive more, they do better in school and they have safe, permanent and nurturing homes.