The Influence Parents Using Drugs Have on Their Children

Patti grew up around Alcohol and weekend-long parties.

“My parents used to have tattoo parties and weekend parties and they lasted all weekend. So growing up I thought this was normal,” she said.

But it wasn’t normal, looking back on it now Patti sees that these actions were the actions of active addiction.

While she was younger alcohol played a big role in her life; When she and her siblings were sick her mother wouldn’t give them store bought medications, she’d give them Hot Totties.

As she got older she started to see more of a problem with her parent’s actions.

“There was a lot of beatings and violence and police involvement, I swore to myself that I was not going to be like these people. Even though I was raised in this I didn’t feel like I fit into it.”

Chaos

“When I was 8 years old my father had stolen me and my brother and put us underground.”

Her mother had detectives searching for them and when they finally located her and the brother they had been missing for two years.

Those years are crucial education and development years.

When Patti’s mother put her back into school she was put into the grade for her age bracket, which was now 2 years over her education level.

“I struggled, I struggled big time and because she had been into alcohol and drugs herself she couldn’t be a very good advocate for me.”

Patti got tired of struggling in class and dropped out in the eighth grade.

She and her brother were in and out of foster care constantly. Their mother would drop them off when she knew that she couldn’t take proper care of them, then when she felt she could she would come back and get them.

This happened on a month to month basis.

“CPS would let her do this, it went on for years.”

Patti said that as long as their mother was trying to take care of them that was all CPS looked at.

In one of the bouts where Patti and her brother were living with their mother, her fiancé molested Patti. Sadly, this put a strain on her relationship with her.

“Our relationship was very estranged. She hated me for that.”

Patti continually told herself that when she had kids, she would not act this way, she wouldn’t be this kind of parent. But she had no Idea how to get out of the type of life she was living.

She was a runway, and she did what she could to take care of herself, as a teenager that meant being with older men so she would have a place to stay.

“I was with a man who was 14 years older than I was at that age of 14 until I turned 18 because I had nowhere else to go. Nobody else was there for me.”

Married Life

Patti got married to her first husband when she was 19, and he was in and out of prison.

“I was married to a man who was never around and I was trying to raise a child by myself.”

One of the first times she got clean was after her husband absconded, them being drug-free was the only way be would be able to get back into the good graces of the parole department.

They joined NA, went on recovery retreats and they stayed in recovery for two years.

“He ended up going back to prison, when he got out we moved to Utah, the marriage ended there.”

However, their split didn’t last. Patti had a daughter while there were separated and upon their reconciliation he took guardianship of her.

Patti and her husband relapsed together and got into legal trouble.

“He ended up taking the rap for everything, he did 3 years in San Quentin and I did 18 months of an outpatient rehab.”

The same case worker who was there to take Patti’s middle daughter, who was in the car when they got arrested, was there at the end of everything.

“Her question to me was ‘How did you beat the system?’ and I was kind of mortified.”

He main focus was no longer her addiction, her focus was now on getting her kids back. She and her husband broke things off while he was still in prison, she knew she needed a better life for her and her kids.

“I stayed sober for 7 years, and those first 18 months I met my [third] husband.”

For the first time in her life, she could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Around 5 years in he decides that he wants to start to drink socially. Patti told him that drinking socially isn’t a good idea for her, she can’t just drink socially.

“A lot of people have pot as a gateway, a lot of people have other substances as their gateway, mines alcohol if I start drinking I’m going to start slamming dope again. And I don’t want to do that.”

Life is Good

She and her husband had built a beautiful life together, they bought a house, a car, and had all five of their kids together.

She was finally the attentive mother that she wanted to be.

“We had a good family going, and so my addiction told me ‘you can drink, it’s okay’ and I trusted his words. I told [my husband] if I drink you’re not going to like me, and he said no it’s okay I can help manage this.”

And for the first 4 or 5 years, he did do a good job helping her to manage it, they would only drink social while they were out with friends. It started with a glass of wine at dinner or a couple shots while they were out, but then she started to hide it.

“I was filling bottles up with water, putting it in the freezer so he wouldn’t that I had been drinking during the day while he was gone.”

Patti started to rely on her blackouts, she wouldn’t have to remember anything. To her, when she did something she shouldn’t have not remembering made it better, it was like it never happened.

At a certain point in her addiction, she was no longer able to blackout, her body had built up such a tolerance to alcohol that she couldn’t get drunk enough.

The Turning Point

Patti and a group of people were drinking and tubing down the river. Her daughter squirted her with a water gun and Patti became angry.

“I got pissed off at my 13-year-old daughter … I got pissed off because she was trying to have fun and I was in a mindset of drinking and drugging and I wasn’t nice to her, it reminded me of the way my mom was.”

Soon after, one of her good friend who was tubing with them called and invited her over for coffee, but Patti knew that it was more than just coffee, her friend wanted to talk about what happened at the river.

“I wasn’t ready so I kept pushing it off and pushing it off, finally I went over there. I walked back into the meetings of AA.”

She had come back to the point where she knew that she needed a better life, she knew she needed to make a change or she was going to lose everything.

However, it wasn’t until around 18 months into her recovery that everything came down on her all at once.

He mother had just passed away, Patti and her husband were at the hospital because their daughter had been admitted for cutting herself, and her husband turns to her and says he wants a divorce.

“At 18 months sober I said you better mean it because I’m walking out the door.”

And she did.

“I walked because I needed something different. I needed judgment different, I needed me to be different, I needed life to be different. I needed to feel like my whole life wasn’t a waste anymore.”

She needed the ability to just jump down the rabbit hole.

“Once I was free of judgment and was free of the shame and was free of the guilt, my recovery and the promises of this program took off.”

For once in her life she wasn’t worried about taking care of her siblings, her husband, anyone but herself. For once she was able to be selfish and talk care of herself.

She traded in the car they had bought together for the car that she always wanted, and was able to save up to move from a one-bedroom apartment into a two-bedroom house.

“I can look into the mirror today and say that I have grown into the woman that God wants me to be.”

Recovery has helped her to overcome her fears and be happy joyous and free. For those who are out there struggling with addiction, Patti wants you to know that there is hope.

“There are meeting that you can go into, there are places that want you to come and join them. Let them love you until you can love yourself.”

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82 comments
  1. Awesome website you have here but I was wanting to
    know if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics discussed in this article?
    I’d really like to be a part of online community where I can get advice from other experienced people that share the same interest.
    If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks a lot!

  2. It is hard to see addicted parents not affecting their children badly. That’s why children are taken away from their addicted parents. Just for the safety of the wards

  3. There are always serious repercussions for children of addicts. I think Patti’s self awareness is very impressive and her latest husband should have been more sensitive about suggesting alcohol when it was clearly such a trigger for her. Sounds like she’s really putting self-care into practice and is on a good path towards recovery.

  4. As they say experience is the best teacher. However, children of drug addicts are using it in reverse. Why? simple it is very likely that kids gets their perspective and values by copying adults. The same with every one of us. This is why a good environment to grow up in is vital.

  5. children of drug addicts parents do grow up struggling with emotional or psychological issues. It can never be safer being with such parents. They might even be abusive without knowing. it can be really damaging

  6. Is only by the grace of God and self determination that an addicted parents won’t make their kids an addict too. I love this story and really bless God for their lives

  7. Most children of addicts are most likely to be affected negatively. The addicted parents are not suppose to have access to the children. Thanks for sharing this good post.

  8. One of the worst situations for kids is to grow up in a family with violence, sexual abuse, or addicted parents. It´s totally unfair for the kids and it could deeply affect their lives and behavior.

  9. Children of drug addicts generally have the same tendencies to easily fall into drugs, they are more vulnerable than a person who does not have drug addicted parents.

  10. children of drug addicts homes should always find a way of getting help. Ít can bé disturbing having people 9f this nature ín the home

  11. having drug addict parent will surely affect a child’s future. A child needs all the help from the government if his/her parent is a drug addict. I feel sad every time I hear news about such situation in our society.

  12. Patti was unlucky to have been the child of drug addict. I bet things would have turned out much differently for her were this not the case.

  13. I think there should be special centers where a child of drug addict can get the care they deserve. I feel bad that Patti had to go through what she went through.

  14. Child protection services usually step in when a kid has addicted parents. However, this usually has a significant toll on the child’s emotional well being.

  15. The addicted parents are not suppose to have access to the children. Thanks for sharing this good post. I had no idea that living with a drug addict parent could get this bad. Thanks for sharing this Blog.

  16. Parents using drugs have a negative effect on their children because they are never there to bring up the child in the right way. The children becomes a user themselves or are traumatised for life.. Detox to rehab thanks for sharing.

  17. I always believe VALUES ARE CAUGHT more than TAUGHT. That said It will not be so surprising if in her eyes Drugs are right. After all she grew up with it. Good thing she realized later that being on it aint the way and fought for change. Just because you are in it means you are stuck forever.

  18. Dysfunctional families or upbringing compound to these addiction struggles. No one is ever there to keep watch over the wards. It’s even worse when a family is already into drugs and alcohols. Children pick up these bad habits easily and this goes a long way in their life cycle.

  19. There is a higher possibility of children involving themselves in drugs if their parents involved themselves in drugs. Children acquire most of their traits from parents.

  20. There’s always a big problem for children with addict parents it is difficult for them not to influence the child negatively and Patti story is one of such

  21. Any one growing up around alcohol without a strong will be definitely end up taking good amount of it. Staying with addicts can influence you. But good to know Patti is being sober now

  22. The addicted parents are not suppose to have access to the children. A child needs all the help from the government. I feel sad every time I hear news about such situation in our society.

  23. Children learn primarily from their parents and the adults they turn out to be is determined by what and what not their parents are. If we must have a drug-clean society, one of the things to get right, is right parenting.

  24. This is a very pathetic. Patti’s parent and their actions led her to addiction. Glad and happy that she took the right step to recovery.

  25. Parenting has effect on every child upbringing. Bad parenting has negative effect on a child. So was the case for Patti. Happy that through recovery she was able to conquer her fear and live a normal life again.

  26. It is my advice for parents who are addicted to drugs to stay away from their kids and seek proper treatment. Well done detox for always educating us.

  27. Children tend to town the part of their parents, that is why parents should try anot live a life worth emulating. Patti towed the part of her mum but thank God she realised her own actions were causing her duaghter and she made a change in her life for good.

  28. Her parent’s action during her childhood had negative effect on her. Happy for Patti that she had a turning point in her life through recovery.

  29. From the above story, it is evidently clear that parents have powerful influence on the lives of their children. Consequently, parents should not lay bad precedent that can adversely affects their descendants as it can be seen in the life of Patti.

  30. The influence as always been a negative one. From the various reports and what we see around, if I’m mistaken, 20% of the victims recovered.

  31. I can only imagine how she felt for that 2 years underground. Thank you for promising a better life for your children, that’s what can make this world a better place.

  32. Children learns everything from their parents while growing, that’s why we should be cautious on what we eat, drink and do. The best way to avert addiction is to raise this kids in a proper way.

  33. The part parents plays in theor wards life cannot but be over emphasised. Never use or teach you child how to misuse any substance, they can see what we do and that’s what they will grow to do. Please this can help a community

  34. News have it that parents usage or lifestyle has been a reason some teenagers uses drugs because they are use to it. This is a challenge for we parents to live right and train this kids properly

  35. Parents have great influence on their children in all ramifications. Consequently, it’s crucial for parents to set good examples for their descendants.

  36. Patti felt overwhelmed by the way she was brought up and ended up towing the path her mum did. What she later got to realise was that her actions were becoming more like her mum and I am glad she realised this and took the decision to go into recovery

  37. Even when Patti’s parents were living extravagant lifestyle, a life style that is attached with addiction. Such, didn’t entice patti being influenced by alcohol while she was growing up.

  38. Drug addicts’ children are at greater risk of being influenced by what they observe with their mentors. Hence, parents should not set bad precedent for their young ones for a peaceful society to be achieved.

  39. It is really sad that Patti’s family had to put her through all this. Family has been another social institution where children can learn different values, ethics, the culture and even behaviour consciously and unconsciously. However the nice thing about this story is that Patti was saved. Having a nice family with all that accomplishments is really amazing. Life in recovery will always make you be a better person. This is an educational tool for others battling with addiction. Thanks for sharing.
    Congratulations Patti

  40. This long recovery story,that i don’t understand why you try to drink socialy alchoho after recovered and that bring you to the bad situation again,hope you always happy life after recovery and never relapse

  41. Patty’s story is very emotional. I think kids of drug addicts should have a centre where there will be professionals who will take proper care of them

  42. Parents could have a major impact on their child’s upbringing and when parents themselves use drugs, this could be devastation to their kids. Patti also was in relationship with a man who was probably involved in crimes and raising her child alone could be a big problem many times. At least she found recovery and some happiness in life.

  43. This is the main problem in big town with parents, They don’t care about his/her child since birth that the they have to suffer a lot in future. Parents should take care of these things.

  44. No matter how ugly life gets, it’s such an important thing to work on your weaknesses and show love for yourself. I can’t believe the amount of anguish Patti has endured, especially at a young age and I am so impressed with her constant will to better herself and keep support systems in place. Thanks for this very inspiring read!

  45. Thank you Detax to rehab for sharing these type of stories with all of us.These stories are really very much inspirational for many people who are addicted with something and try to recover from that.

  46. Its really sad to hear this kind of story, where addiction starts inside home. Parents should be responsible , and should raise their children in a good way. Glad Patti change and found new life.

  47. Parents have a strong influence on kids, I think not everyone is in conditions to raise a kid properly. Children suffer a lot when their parents are into drugs or alcohol addictions and there’s a big chance that they end repeating the same pattern.

  48. Children more often than not want to be like their parents. Consequently, if they see their parents using drugs, they will most likely end up using them too.

  49. I think Child Protection Services should be tasked with protecting children from drug addicted parents. It would be wise to act before the situation gets much worse.

  50. Patti is a good example of what you can achieve if you have the right mindset to overcome addiction. Her story is one that I will be sharing widely.

  51. Anyone that had a childhood like Patti’s would likely end up being an addict too. I think she is simply a victim of circumstance.

  52. It’s touching that in a way it is her love for her daughter that triggered her turning point. That’s a nice highlight of the whole story.

  53. Drug addicted parents have negative effects on their wards. When they notice their wards taking their on wrong part, they won’t have the moral right to challenge them.

  54. Patti’s story has further proved that children of addicts most likely find it difficult to escape the menace caused by their parents. Children like this should be separated from the parents inorder not to allow a reoccurrence of it. I’m happy Patti was able to fight it.

  55. Children are influenced of what they observed as a child even if we say they aren’t taught about it. Parents should be mindful of there actions as there children could possibly be influenced and adopt those habits on his/her adulthood.

  56. To have started using alcohol at such a young age ruined Patti’s life. I hope the younger generation get to know about her story and learn something from it.

  57. I am just happy that she eventually had an epiphany and made the bold decision to go for recovery. In a way it was the best decision she ever made.

  58. Addicted parents will surely affect the children. Let try and help those children living with addicted parents. Thanks for this educative information.

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