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According to federal data released last October, the number of children under the US foster care system increased for the third year in a row. The culprit behind the spike? Worsening substance abuse by parents.

The report by the Department of Health and Human Services states that from 414, 429 children in the foster care system in 2014, they tallied 427, 910 as of September 30, 2015. In 32.2 percent of the 2015 cases, they cited parental substance abuse as a major factor in removing a child from home.

”Home” Feels Different

In a home where at least one parent is abusing drugs, uncertainty and even chaos is likely, as the addicted parents often compromise the predictability and orderliness that creates a sense of security in the home.

Drug addicted parent or parents go through frequent mood swings, so the children are always unsure about how to deal with their mom or dad. This sense of uncertainty may foster a deep sense of insecurity in the children. Additionally, for them, home will never be a safe haven.

Kids Take on Bigger Responsibilities

The lack of clear and consistent expectations in the home forces children to become self-reliant. Children “grow up early,” preparing their own meals and caring for their younger siblings. This distinct lack of authoritative presence in their lives makes them wary of authority figures and less likely to trust others.

A Negative Emotional Impact

Addicted parents sometimes blame their children if they find something “wrong” — a sibling spat, for instance, or the general disarray of a house. This negative reaction takes a toll on the child’s self-esteem. Furthermore, when parents leave children alone for extended periods of time, the children tend to feel unimportant and rejected. They may also harbor deep resentment at the thought that their parents never loved them enough to overcome drug abuse.

Break the Negative Cycle

A child who grows up in a home where one or both parents abuse drugs isn’t necessarily doomed to the same fate. It’s possible to break negative cycles, especially with parents who are proactive about seeking help. Ibogaine treatment is happy to offer assistance and act as a guide towards recovery. With aftercare and the support of people who care about you and your children’s welfare, you can rebuild your home and make it a safe haven for your family once more.

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