When children are raised with a parent that abuses alcohol, there are many ramifications that arise as a result. First and foremost, it puts a child at risk for developing an addiction of their own at some point in life. Researchers at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicate that approximately 7.5 million American children and teens (18 years and younger) live with a parent who has struggled with alcohol abuse within the last 12 months. This is a total of 10.5% of children and teens across America.
SAMSHA goes on to explain that of these 7.5 million children and teens, 6.1 of them live in a two-parent household while 1.4 of them live in single-parent homes. Of the single parent homes, 1.1 million live with their mother while the remaining live with their father. Sadly, the single parents, especially women, often have significant obstacles to attending treatment for addiction, if they needed it. First of all, economic circumstances might keep them from getting professional help to treat their illness. If a single parent needed to keep working or if they didn’t know where to house the children while they were in treatment, then it’s likely that person won’t get treatment at all. This can worsen the family relationship, jeopardize the psychological health of the children, and place everyone at risk for getting their needs met. The household might feel chaotic and unsafe for children.
Furthermore, research also indicates that children who were raised in alcoholic families later grow up with issues regarding relationships, self esteem, unhealthy views of themselves and of the world, emotional regulation, and vulnerability to other psychological illnesses, such as depression and anxiety.