“The Neglected Ones”
According to The website titled “The Center on Addiction and the Family” 1 in 4 children in the United Sates is exposed to alcohol abuse and or dependency in the family at some point before age 18. Astounding as these numbers are they are preventable. There are essentially two types of AOD (alcohol and other drug) exposures children face prenatal and interpersonal both can have dramatic effects on these children. Interpersonal exposure from parental AOD use can effect a child’s social and psychological development. However, these effects may vary. “Substance Abuse” fourth edition reports, “This is due to individual and environmental differences including age of exposure, progression of use, characteristics of the child and the AOD abuser, family dynamics, and external events.” The impact of interpersonal and environmental exposure to AOD’s are often reflected in these children’s school work, hygiene, concentration, socialization, and attitudes towards others in charge.
When parental substance abuse is a factor there are several signs and symptoms these children may display. First, sufferers may look unkempt or just inappropriate, as they are sometimes neglected by the drug or alcohol abusing parent. Monday is often the “sloppy day.” Children may come to school late as they are usually taking care of themselves and often times even others in the home. Preparing breakfast, making sure younger siblings get off to school and cleaning up after the substance abusing parent. Second, these children may talk about witnessing violent or abusive situations at home. In the textbook “Substance Abuse” fourth edition it states that “Families often invoke rules such as “Don’t talk, don’t trust, and don’t feel.” Substance abusing parents believe that by invoking this motto it prevents people outside the family from knowing what is going on inside the family. Third, Academic performance may suffer because these children can’t help but worry about their...
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