Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) September 27, 2011
When someone in a family is addicted, the entire family suffers. But the irony is that most addicts think that they are only hurting themselves. Consider for a moment the situation that children find themselves in when a parent is a substance abuser. As stated by the US Department of Health and Human Services, in 2007, more than eight million children were in this situation. Twenty-eight percent of them were five years old or younger and thus utterly helpless. The incidence of child abuse, neglect and sexual abuse of children rise dramatically when addiction is present in the home.
For example, a report from the St. Petersburg Times in Florida stated that a serious increase in prescription drug abuse had resulted in an increase child welfare court cases involving drug abuse from 318 in 2008 to 663 for eleven months of 2010. These cases involved children wandering the street while their parents crashed, injuries due to lack of supervision in the home and drug related car accidents in which the child was hurt.
A child doesn’t even have to be born yet to suffer the effects of a parent’s addiction. According to the website http://www.childwelfare.gov, as many as three-quarters of a million babies are born each year showing the effects of drugs or alcohol consumed during pregnancy. Many are medically fragile, addicted or suffering from low birth weight or birth defects.
Then consider that substance abuse may completely remove a parent from a home due to incarceration. The US Department of Health and Human Services also reports that about a million and a half children have a father in jail or prison; more than 65 percent of fathers in federal prisons and more than 20 percent of those in state prison are there due to drug offenses.
“It can safely be said that substance abuse harms any children associated with the abuser or addict,” stated Clark Carr, President of Narconon International. “No matter what the addict manages to tell himself or herself, this is simply a fact.” Narconon is a non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of substance abuse and addiction through effective drug rehabilitation and prevention.
Mr. Carr pointed out that substance abuse also penalizes the community. “The Department of Justice estimates the cost of illicit drug use in the US at $193 billion in 2007. That means a cost of $626 for every adult, child and infant in the country.” These costs result from the law enforcement and judicial system, health care costs, lost productivity, addiction treatment, thefts and damages due to drug use. “Add to that another $185 billion in costs from alcohol abuse and now you’re billing each American $1227 annually to pay for the collateral effects of someone’s alcohol or drug addiction,” Mr. Carr asked. “How many more parks or schools or hospitals could be built with those funds? How many more scholarships could be given to bright young people and how many more tutoring centers could be built for the underprivileged?”
September has been designated National Recovery Month by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This year’s theme is “Recovery is for Everyone.”
“Narconon drug and alcohol recovery and prevention centers all across the US are proud to contribute to a drug-free future by helping addicts learn to live drug-free lives and by successfully educating young people to stay away from drugs,” Mr. Carr concluded. “Every time we return a former addict to his or her home, knowing how to live a productive, drug-free life, to some slight degree, every American wins along with that person’s family.”
For more information, visit http://www.narconon.org or call 800-775-8750