Parenting involves being physically and mentally present in your child’s life. Drugs and alcohol can affect your parenting performance by making you more on edge or too sick to remember your child as they grow up. Learning about how substances can negatively influence your parenting is an important preventative measure. Chances are, once you realize the effects that drinking and/or drug use can have on your relationship with your child, you won’t want to think about touching a drink or a drug again.

The Negative Impacts of Alcohol on Parenting

Alcohol can lower your inhibitions which leads to inappropriate and risky behaviors. Furthermore, drinking can impair your judgment and motor functioning. Consequently, parents that consume alcohol often neglect their children and fail to manage their household responsibilities, including cleaning, cooking, and picking their children up at school. Additionally, parents that struggle with alcohol abuse tend to waste the nights away intoxicated at bars, leaving their children home alone to fend for themselves. These kinds of behaviors can result in severe hangovers, fits of rage, shame and guilt, and depressive episodes, creating an extremely unstable and traumatic environment for any children involved. 

The Negative Impacts of Cocaine on Parenting

Cocaine tends to heighten your senses, causing you to see brighter colors, smell stronger smells, and hear louder noises. After using cocaine for an extended period, a parent may be prone to irritability and aggression. Cocaine also results in psychotic distortions of thought. Abusing cocaine can have a significant impact on your ability to parent appropriately. Not only can heightened senses lead to overreactions, and irritability and aggression to abuse, but thought distortions can cause anger and impatience for literally any reason at all. In these circumstances, the slightest annoyance can cause a massive blow-out, cultivating an environment of fear, instability, and mistreatment. 

The Negative Impacts of Heroin on Parenting

Heroin is a highly addictive drug that can lead to potentially fatal health conditions. Injecting, snorting, or smoking heroin creates feelings of euphoria, triggering the user to continue using the drug. Eventually, a tolerance to the drug is built in which the user requires more of the drug to experience the same effects. At this point, physical dependence has also usually been reached, meaning that physical withdrawals will be experienced in the absence of the drug. As a result, obtaining and using heroin becomes paramount to all else, leading parents to neglect their children’s needs. Furthermore, the unconscious state experienced when using heroin leaves children unsupervised and unprotected. Beyond the instability and lack of supervision, parents using heroin risk exposing their children to dangerous drug dealers and environments as a result of their addiction. Seeking substance abuse treatment early and staying away from drugs in the future will allow you to be the best parent you can be for your child. 

Parenting can be the most important job you have. It involves providing your child with love and attention. Drug and alcohol addiction can negatively affect your performance as a parent. Substance abuse can lead to neglect, unpredictable mood, and toxic and traumatic environments. At Alta Loma, we want you to understand that drug use is preventable and treatable. You still have a chance to be the best parent you can be. All you need to do is take that first step and get yourself into treatment. Located in Georgetown, Texas, Alta Loma’s transformative treatment facilities can provide you with the tools you need for success on your recovery journey. Our facilities offer services such as 12-step programs, therapeutic recreational activities, support from highly-trained specialists, individualized therapy, family counseling, and life and coping skills education. For more information, call 866-457-3843.


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You understand your needs best. If you have found yourself at a crossroads in your treatment and feel like your program options don’t fully understand you or aspects of your recovery, it’s time to contact the specialists at Alta Loma. We will help you craft the ideal care plan and secure the support you need, quickly, to avoid unnecessary problems. At Alta Loma, that’s our mission — to provide each individual with optimum care for the wellbeing they deserve.