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Summary: The Effects Of Substance Abuse On The Family

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In the last year alone 27 million people (in the United States) reported abusing illegal substances/prescription drugs, while 66 million reported binge drinking. Despite these astounding numbers so much stigma and misinformation surrounds substance abuse and seeking help. Millions of families are suffering, addiction wrecking homes and relationships throughout the country. With 31% of all children removed from their home due to substance abuse as recently as 2012, it is important for the future of these children that the social institution of the family be fixed. Social support for substance abusers should be a forefront considering the detrimental effects on the family. The importance of this support is proven through the devastating effects…show more content…
While there are many factors that can influence one to develop issues with substance abuse such as; mental health, past traumas, family history, and genetics, external factors in one's life are the main cause of behavioral changes. Parenting, peer influences, life stresses, school and neighborhood settings are all environmental influences that can impact one's likelihood of using and abusing substances. The impact one's friendships have on their behavior and actions are immense, proved by a study showing that a person's chance of obesity increased significantly (57%) with an obese friendship. If someone surrounds themselves daily with chaotic behavior and a…show more content…
The effects on the family unit can be detrimental, children usually being the main victims. While a child's wellbeing depends on a parent's ability to provide and support them, this often does not happen if the parent also abuses substances. Drug and alcohol use are proven to cause; anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations. These experiences of substance abuse potentially reducing one's ability to provide emotional care to their children. Parental substance abuse can create an extremely unstable environment for a child to be raised in. Households where substance abuse occur in are higher in conflict, yelling, financial difficulty and poor communication. This chaotic living situation can foster and manifest many different life-lasting conditions in children including; depression, anxiety, ADHD, poor cognitive, social and emotional development and even substance abuse problems themselves later on. The effects felt by the children in these situations can often be not only mental but emotional and physical as well. Children who grow up in broken homes are more likely to be depressed and have social disorders, making it more difficult for them to succeed in other aspects of their lives including school and work. In relation to Functionalism, because these children are not receiving the stable home environment that is needed the child will not be able to be able to function properly within society's other
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