Monday, November 29, 2010
The influences a child is exposed to when they are young can greatly impact the course their life takes; children are very impressionable and emotionally fragile, if a parent drinks or drugs heavily it is bound to affect their life. New research shows that more than 700,000 kids live in households with parents who have a problem with alcohol, according to the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre. Substance abuse problems often develop with teens and young adults partly because of the exposure they received growing up. Parents set the example that children are supposed to live by, if their parents have a problem it quickly becomes the children's problem, often in the form of neglect or physical and emotional abuse. Stress is generally the underlying factor with many heavy drinkers, naturally, parents are under a lot of stress and that stress is alleviated by drinking - at first. "Families are often under pressure and stress, so it's not just the alcohol alone that's the cause of the problem," says the report's co-author, Dr Lucy Burns. "Often these children are exposed to situations where [there is] stress, sometimes violence, and of course that can have detrimental effects on a child if they're growing."
Parents need to work together, if there is a problem in the household it needs to be addressed before it gets anymore out of hand. One or both of the parents have drinking problem they should seek professional help, it is in the best interest for their lives and the lives of their children. Alcohol is often the underlying factor as to why there are problems in the household, the sooner a problem is addressed the better off one's children are, every child deserves a chance at a healthy, sober home life.
Dr Burns also wants to discuss raising the legal drinking age, but, she believes it may only offer a temporary solution for those children raised by problem drinkers. "There is a significant minority who do drink, who do drink excessively, and they do get into trouble," she said. "I think it's that particular group where we really need to harness our efforts and that involves things, not just campaigns to raise ages and just say no, but we really need to have appropriate treatment facilities for people who have these sorts of problems."