Parental alcohol or drug abuse has adverse impacts on the happiness, safety, and health of children. The biggest concern is that overuse of drugs, illegal drug activity, and exposure to alcohol can have severe consequences. The statutes in most states have laws related to substance abuse by the parents and infants who are exposed to drugs. North Dakota also has reporting laws for substance-abusers. Read on to find out why Parental drug use can be classified as a form of child abuse.
Neglect Caused by Parental Drug Use Has Serious Implications on Children
It is important to understand children in the United States suffer from neglect more than physical violence and abuse. The emotional well-being of the child and cognitive development get affected if the caregivers or the parents are addicted to certain drugs. Children exposed to parental drug abuse or alcoholic addiction may develop physical impairments. Psychologically, the exposed child may suffer from anxiety and depression.
The exposed child’s brain may not develop properly because of neglect and child abuse, which will be reflected in the academic records. Eventually, the child will show signs of poor health as they grow old and develop chronic conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, liver diseases. The long-term consequences also increase the susceptibility of the exposed children to risky behaviors, such as, excessive smoking, and ultimately becoming substance abusers themselves. Children whose parents are substance abusers may have to grow up in foster care.
Prenatal Substance Abuse Impact the Fetus
Illicit toxic drugs and alcohol are deleterious to fetus and placenta, which may result in congenital syndrome and newborns may exhibit signs of withdrawal symptoms because of the prenatal drug abuse. Therefore, states have reporting criterions if the infants display such signs after birth. North Dakota, District of Columbia, and 13 other states consider this type of exposure as a form of child neglect and child abuse.
What Is Considered As Child Abuse and Neglect?
Even if you may not realize it directly, there are certain situations, which according to some states come under the definition of neglect and child abuse. You are not supposed to manufacture controlled substances on the premises where a child may be present. The child should not come into contact with the chemical equipment is stored. It is illegal to distribute alcohol or drugs to a child. Since using controlled substance has negative consequences on the ability of the parents to care for the child, it is considered a form of abuse. Furthermore, children should not be engaged in the distribution of the drugs in any way.
Parental substance abuse may initiate a cycle of drug-abusers. The rates of alcoholism and substance abuse amongst the youth, which will lead to juvenile convictions, mental health problems, behavioral transformations, and academic turmoil. Therefore, it is essential that parents who are addicted to certain types of drugs and get comprehensive treatment so that they are better able to care for their offspring right from the early stages.