An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Do you know or do you have a child born to a parent addicted to drugs or alcohol?

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Child' started by pineywood, May 7, 2015.

  1. pineywood

    pineywood Community Champion

    Do you know or do you have a child born to a parent addicted to drugs or alcohol?

    This subject was brought up in another thread by PerkyNorm4u about Nature vs Nurture

    "Both element is a contributing factor, if mothers exposed their unborn child to substance the likelihood exist for them to become an addict."

    and it got me to thinking. In the past, I worked in group home for the Developmentally Disabled, foster care home for children and teens abused from neglected home, a University Outreach Program funded by a state grant, in the Special Needs Room at an elementary school and gotten to know some of my children's friends and many were affected by drugs and or alcohol to various degrees upon being born.

    In addition, to my initial question, do you think this child is more likely to become an addict? And how do you support and guide a child predisposed to these conditions?
  2. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I'm no doctor so I don't really know the science behind it, but my guess is that it probably does affect children since they are being introduced to powerful external substances at a very fragile stage. As for fixing the damage, I think doubling the effort on being observant and vigilant when it comes to the well being of the person should be enough. If they are given support and made to feel secure and cared for then there's less of a chance they will feel an emotional void that would make them more likely to be driven to negative actions.
  3. pineywood

    pineywood Community Champion

    I guess, I would like to clarify. What about the children born with fetal alcohol syndrome or Prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE). I did find one study, Effects of prenatal cocaine/polydrug exposure on substance use by age 15
    Just wondering, if anyone has any experience of thoughts on this situation.
  4. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Community Champion

    I know a person who is adult child of alcoholics, and he says to remember his father beaten him when getting back home totally lost in alcohol.

    He was then afraid an horrified to see those effects that alcohol produced in his father, never wanting to fall in a similar situation.

    However as he was approaching to adulthood, he began to drink without knowing exactly why he was doing it, and eventually became an alcoholic too.

    After years of addiction, and now in his 50s, he has been clean and sober for the past 7 years or so, bur recognizes how hard was for him being being the child of an alcoholic and pick his same addiction almost inadvertently.
    pineywood likes this.
  5. hellonamesdana

    hellonamesdana Senior Contributor

    I'm the child of two addicts. Both of my parents continue to deny their addictions, especially my dad, but at least he somewhat has his under control. My mother is an alcoholic, but my dad just has a general addictive personality - gambling, cigarettes, weed, etc.
  6. pineywood

    pineywood Community Champion

    I am sorry to hear about your parents; however, glad you are here on this forum to share your insight and experiences that greatly benefit us all. Hopefully, someday they will have a better understanding of the effects of addiction. It sounds like you are a thankfully a stronger and wiser person today through your knowledge gained by your parents choices.
  7. Tryner

    Tryner Member

    One of my closest friends was born addicted to heroin and grew up in the foster system. He's now nineteen and has been with the same family for over a decade, but he's miserable there. Spends most nights with friends and only goes home to see his sister. He's most certainly not going to be an addict, though; refuses to even try a cigarette. Very proud of being "straight-edge" and is determined to be better than his past would suggest. I'm so glad he took this path, and he's the kindest soul I know.
    pineywood likes this.
  8. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    I've known a lot of children whose parents are alcoholics. Much as it's assumed that the children of alcoholics most certainly will end up being alcoholics when they are grown ups, most of them opt to touch no alcohol because they've practically all their lives seen what alcohol does to the person who abuses it.

    Yes and no. The choices would depend entirely on how badly their parent's alcoholism has affected the family. If the kids are physically abused by the parents then they are more likely to use alcohol to deal with the stress.
    pineywood likes this.
  9. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Community Champion

    The University of Utah Genetic Science Learning Center published an interesting article on how genes and addiction work, stating nobody is born an addicted due to alcoholic parents, read on:
    Full article an audio files on this topic can be found here,
    pineywood likes this.
  10. pineywood

    pineywood Community Champion

    Great find, thanks for posting the link. I would like to add from this same article,

    "Many factors determine the likelihood that someone will become an addict, including both inherited and environmental factors".

    "Because addiction has an inherited component, it often runs in families. That is, it can be passed down from parent to child by way of genes"
  11. smartmom

    smartmom Senior Contributor

    This is something i've been thinking about. Children with habbits having parents that had a habbit at the time of their conception. In my mind, I could be wrong but I really think the child is already born addicted. I would love some input here from someone else to see what others think. I mean i've even seen women smoking pot when they were pregnant or heard stories. Its a sad thing!
  12. sofacat

    sofacat Member

    My father's parents were huge alcoholics throughout his entire life. It's very sad. It sounds like his childhood was very hard. They weren't abusive or anything, but he had to spend a lot of his time growing up taking care of them and dealing with their irresponsible behavior. You would think he would be more cautious to the possibility of becoming an alcoholic himself, but sadly that's not how it works. He spent the first half of his life becoming more and more addicted to alcohol until finally in his late 20s he realized he was out of control and took steps to get better. Luckily for me, he got his addiction under control before I was born, and neither he nor my mother has had a sip of alcohol during my entire life.

    I don't know whether his alcoholism was caused by being exposed to it as an unborn child or because he grew up around it and learned from his parents to have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. It's really hard to know whether it's inherited or environmental.
  13. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    Well, growing up I was neglected by my mother... she was an alcoholic, so naturally I became one myself, since I had access to alcohol very easily, so it's only natural that children in a similar situation to mind end up becoming alcoholics or addicts. It's much easier when you grew up thinking this kind of things are just the norm.
  14. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    In here,you can easily find a pregnant women who is smoking and drinking which is a bad thing. No strict rules or laws against that here. Kids are also being exposed to addiction since there are adults having drinking session in the streets. They tend to make the habit or addiction as a normal thing in the eyes of the kids.