Addiction is usually associated with maladaptive behavior and mental disorders. That is why it is not surprising that people who struggle with addiction are usually not able to give it up in order to be parents. An approximate 10-percent of people in North America identify themselves as “recovering from addiction,” while approximately 65-percent of people in North America claim that their lives have been personally affected by addiction. This would indicate that there are far more addicts than there are recovering addicts, many of whom are certainly parents.
Addiction in parenthood is a source of problems on many levels. Addiction is a source of contention between two people who are parenting together, whether it is one parent who is addicted or both. If only one parent is addicted, the other will almost certainly resent and fear their addicted partner. If both parents are addicted, the likelihood of them having a functional relationship is very low. For children of any age, this behavior is detrimental to be around, inspiring maladaptive, antisocial and fearful tendencies because the child does not feel secure in their home environment. In many cases, being raised by an addicted parent will spawn a case of addiction within the child once they mature.
If you or someone you know is trying to parent while addicted, it is recommended that you seek help right away. The addicted parent or parents need to recognize their behavior for what it is and reverse it before they do psychological or even physical damage to the child. Sadly, some addicted parents will be deemed unfit for parenting and will have their children taken from them; a heart-breaking scenario but it may save the children from further devastation. In other scenarios, one or both of the parents may qualify for addiction treatment, and rehabilitation and counseling can save the family unit.