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Addictions because of a Parent

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by Deeishere, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. Deeishere

    Deeishere Active Contributor

    Do you think that one becomes addicted because their parents had addictions? I know when I was young both of my parents were alcoholics, and now my brother struggles with the same issue. I did try drinks a few times, but really didn't like it at all. I do suffer from being addiction to junk food and sweets.
    bhu likes this.
  2. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    I think it can go both ways. I have seen cases where the parent with addicts and the kids grew up to be as well because that is the life they were brought up in and the one they knew. In other cases the parents with addicts and the children never followed their path because they knew how painful it was. It turned them against even wanting to try alcohol or drugs.
    JonnyMacdonald likes this.
  3. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    It actually depends on the personality of the kid, I think. I know of some children who grew up to be smokers or alcoholics like their fathers or mothers. The one I think of most is my husband, who has an alcoholic father who's a smoker as well. He now smokes a pack a day and drinks alcohol at least twice a week. It's not too much if you think about it, but I think he has a problem already.

    Then there are the kids who resent their parents' behaviour and vow to never be like them. They don't smoke or do drugs or any other vices because they don't want to end up like their father or mother. In some way, being exposed to that environment made them stronger and independent.
  4. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    I think in some cases this is true but not every time. Everybody has freedom of choice and some people make the right or wrong ones. You have a common addiction that most people have, I mean who doesn't love junk food ;) At the end of the day people can do what they want, some people follow after there parents some don't.
  5. djdrug

    djdrug Community Champion

    I think its the opposite. My father was a chain smoker, and I saw first hand the consequences of that addiction. So, I don't smoke. But, it also depends on what lessons someone takes from their past and the people who surround them.
  6. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    It could be one of the causer reasons of being addicted. Living in a household with both addicted parents can really influence the mind and that make a child think that it is just a normal thing to do. Also some might get into addiction as their parents as their way of rebellion.
  7. darkrebelchild

    darkrebelchild Community Champion

    There are times addiction can seem hereditary; but self control and seeking help from the right community can help prevent it. But if you are surrounded by family members who are addicts, there is tendency for you to yield over time.

    Many of us avoid being like our parents when we are older but we end up becoming like them and a bit worse. The bottom line is being yourself and being a unique person, not comparing ourselves to anyone.
    True concern likes this.
  8. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    In most cases that I know of personally where the parents had addiction problems, the children usually grew up clean. Although the parents are supposed to role models, the children in those cases did seem to learn from their parents mistakes. Some of those cases were quite extreme and those children's parents ended up dying.
    Winterybella likes this.
  9. johnyork

    johnyork Active Contributor

    It can go both ways. You could be looking up to parents and make yourself believe that it's ok or you could despise them for it and never touch anything. Everybody has freedom of choice .
    Zyni likes this.
  10. Zyni

    Zyni Community Champion

    I see this sentiment often. My opinion is that people can only influence us. They can't "make" us become addicts. We all make our own choices. Just my two cents.
  11. rz3300@

    rz3300@ Senior Contributor

    Well I am never a fan of passing the blame, but there is certainly something genetic about addiction. It is certainly not the only factor, though, and it might not even be close to the most crucial, because we all know that environment plays a large role also. Do not use it as an excuse but rather a means for determination.
  12. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    You know the saying "lead by example"? That's exactly what happens if the child picks up on his parents bad habits. He will think that it's ok because his parents are doing it, so he imitates them. The parents consent, because they are doing it themselves. I don't think genetics have something to do with it.
  13. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Many people I know whose parents were alcoholics or drank "a little" every evening grew up to be just like their parents. It's a habit that's easy to pick up but as JohnYork points out there are a few who'll choose not to touch drugs because they've seen enough of what drugs do to people and because of that they never will use drugs all their lives.
  14. Mara

    Mara Community Champion

    I think it's a case to case basis. Some children who have addict parents grow up fine and did not develop any form of addiction. But some, like in our case, grow up to be like the parents. Children follow by example and they tend to imitate what the older people do. So when they see their parents drinking, and sees them do it everyday, they might see it as a normal occurrence, a part of their lives. They will tend to think that there's nothing wrong with it because they see their parents doing it. So they do it too.
  15. katieB

    katieB Member

    I think it is not always the case. Not every child of an alcoholic or drug addict with have an addiction disorder. Yes, addiction is a mental illness and the sad part is people do not understand this. It's also genetic. A child of an alcoholic or drug addict, has a higher predisposition than someone one who's parents aren't. I think it depends on environment, health, & genetics. In my case, my mom is in recovery from alcohol abuse. I personally have seen how alcohol can affect someone and their family members. Being a child of an alcoholic and having that fear of "is my mother still breathing" I don't drink because I've see what alcohol does to a person and their loved ones. Therefore, I abstain from drinking. Its my personal choice, but I dont feel like I'm missing out or regretting anything.
  16. Dmears

    Dmears Member

    It isn't always just the child of an addict, it skips generations also. Both my parents were alcoholics, my mother got involved in AA and Alon and got sober but she was bipolar also. My father was a chain smoker and raging alcoholic and drank right up until his death from cancer. One out of 5 siblings had a drinking and gambling addiction, 2 of them had addictions to pain pills but not for very long. I have experimented with some drugs and did a good bit of drinking but was always able to say okay I'm done I've had enough for now. All before I had kids... I am addicted to sugar but handle it.... However my son is a heroin addict, he started smoking weed at about 13(I didn't know) then pills by 15, drinking but not much until he was about 19 then from age 19 he has been wide open with everything. All kinds of legal problems, His father and I divorced when he was 3 and his father wasn't very involved but he did not have any substance abuse issues, in fact his family is amazing but we were not around them much. I have done everything I know to help him, enabled him, he has totally broke me financially and I am at a loss. The unimaginable lies are more than I can handle. He is on probation but doesn't seem to care that he may go prison for years if he tests positive which he will before long! Or he will go on the run which of course he will be caught and then it will be worse. I just moved to another city 2 weeks ago he was clean, rented him an apt. And he was supposed to find a job but instead he went right out and bought drugs. I just found out today everything he has told me for the last 2 weeks is a lie, he sold everything in the apt. And I don't know what to do??? I just quit my job so after this weekend I will have no insurance to pay for rehab. My new job does not offer insurance. I told him today I am done, no more money, I won't take any calls from him or help him any longer. It's up to him to go to rehab by the weekend or end up dead or in prison but it's his choice!! I don't understand why none of my siblings kids have had any issues. In fact the are all great, and they are all sick of my sons issues. So as of today I am at a loss and give up!!
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
  17. oportosanto

    oportosanto Community Champion

    We follow our parents examples so yes, we can become addicts because of them. I started to smoke because of my dad, he was always smoking around the house so one day I started too.
  18. integrity101

    integrity101 Active Contributor

    I believe parents set an example but up to a certain age. A three year old boy may imitate the way his father smokes while playing with friends but that doesn't mean he will automatically become a smoker. A 15 year old teen watching his or her parent suffering from the pains of lung cancer due to smoking is not likely to pick up the habit. In a perfect world, alcoholic parents set such a bad example that the last thing their kids would want to dabble with is liquor. Unfortunately, our world is far from perfect.
  19. irishrose

    irishrose Community Champion

    As a child, I witnessed a parent struggle with and overcome addiction. I also witnessed family members' whose parents ended up dying due to their uncontrollable addictions. Seeing the struggle of others affected by addiction has led me to have no desire for such a life. On the other hand, I have a sibling who was raised in the same household who struggles with addiction, similar to our parent. Even though we were brought up in the same houswhold, our life experiences were different enough to have produced different outcomes. I do not think that the addiction of a parent predicts addiction of their children, but it may lead to a higher likelihood.
  20. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Not necessarily. I think my Mother's sometimes drunken public displays disgusted me. She didn't do it often, but it clearly made an impression of what not to do. I have no attachment to drugs or alcohol. No longer have any interest at all in alcohol. I think it has been 2 years since I had any but it was not ever really a problem.
    Deeishere likes this.