May 16, 2016
There has been a strong increase in the need for foster parents as substance abuse and addiction grows as a problem in the United States. This has been because more and more parents of young children and teens have begun to abuse drugs and alcohol. They have gone on even further to become intensely addicted to them, and the result has been that they are now no longer fit as parents and must give up their children to better suited adults to care for them.
There is no doubt about it, the way we grow up most definitely shapes our lives, and that is exactly why it is so important for us to grow up in a safe and healthy home that we can all be happy in and proud of. However, if there is one thing that can prevent that from occurring, it is drug and alcohol abuse. The truth of the matter is that when parents can’t create this type of healthy, safe, protected, provided for, and comfortable space for their children then foster parents must fill this role. Tearing children away from their substance abuse parents will actually be far better for them than letting them stay with parents that will neglect them.
There is a big need for foster parents right now, though many do not know this. The need for foster parents is growing at a fast pace and has been doing so for the last few years in fact.
• The CEO of the Coalition for Children, Youth and Families, Oriana Carey, said there was a decline in the number of children going into foster care nationally until around 2012, 2013. However, in just the last two years alone, more than five-hundred or so children went into care in almost all states.
These numbers do not lie. They show the truth behind the, “happy go lucky all is good in the American family” ideology that we as Americans are so insistent to live with.
• By the numbers as they pan out, neglect is the number one reason someone needs to go into foster care, and neglect is exactly what parents who are addicted to drugs and alcohol do with their kids.
Thankfully, just because parents abuse drugs and alcohol and get their kids taken away from them does not mean that they lose them forever. In fact, if those parents go to rehab and get cleaned up and fully abolish their addiction habits from their lives then they can easily get their kids back. In fact, seventy-three percent of children in Wisconsin for example who have spent time in foster care are returned back to their birth families.
The Effects of Having a Parent or Guardian Who Abuses Drugs and Alcohol
The destructive coping mechanisms of addiction within a family are some of the worst imaginable. They can eventually and almost always lead to serious problems both in the present and in later life too, if later life is even an option for those addicted. Children from the families of addicts, who often find themselves neglected, vying for attention, or forced into the role of a parent, enter adulthood carrying huge burdens and patterning their own family lives after their dysfunctional childhood families that lead to nowhere but sadness and misery. Sadly, many end up stuck in a cycle of abuse and addiction.
• Parents who abuse drugs and alcohol often pass those same traits down to their kids. Children, teens, and young adults abusing drugs and alcohol is an even worse prospect than older adults taking part in such activities. This is because children, teens, and young adults can receive permanent internal damage from substance abuse as their bodies and brains are still growing and maturing.
• It was found that middle school students whose peer groups don’t use alcohol or other drugs score higher on state reading and math tests than those whose peer groups use alcohol or drugs by far. In any given age group, alcohol abusers are 4-6 times more likely than nondrinkers to say they cut classes or were truant. Moreover, these children and teens are twice as likely as nondrinkers to produce poor schoolwork and are more frequently disobedient at school and in life in general too.
• Not only does alcohol and drugs affect middle and high school students, but it also affects college students on an even grander scale. Drinking and the resulting hangovers often lead to college students missing classes or falling behind on schoolwork to one degree or another. In fact, alcohol is implicated in more that 40 percent of all academic problems and 28 percent of all dropouts in college.
So here we have parents who cause their children and teens neglect and unhappiness by the simple fact that they are parents who abuse drugs and alcohol, but then part of the time the problem is further exacerbated by the simple fact that these parents so often pass their own addiction problems on to their very own children, a crime that is almost unforgivable.
Pushing Rehabilitation as the Solution to this Familial Crisis in the United States
In hard time alike these we must carefully examine just how to resolve this issue. There is no doubt about it as the successes have been created and the evidence is there, but the best way to address this is to put the parents of drug and alcohol addicts through inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers. This is the proven and true way to vanquish addiction once and for all, and we are all aware that a parent is only going to be a good parent if he or she is completely sober. With rehab, this is possible and, with rehab, it is doable that addiction can become a thing of the past in American families.