Methamphetamine is a stimulant substance that is widely abused by people throughout the country. For the people of California, including the Fresno area, meth abuse has become a much more common occurrence, with people of all ages and backgrounds abusing this deadly, illicit drug.
Unfortunately, as with the abuse of any toxic and/or addictive substance, those who abuse meth are usually not the only ones who are negatively impacted. Individuals who are abusing methamphetamine will likely develop issues with co-workers and friends, as well as parents, siblings, and even their own children. Sadly, while an individual continues to abuse methamphetamine, his or her children and their childhood innocence are often the greatest casualty.
According to medical experts throughout California, those adults who are addicted to meth are placing children who live with them in situations that are abusive and dangerous. While this in and of itself is not a new realization, the rates at which children are being exposed to adults abusing meth is increasing, and more and more children are requiring medical care because of the effects of a parent or guardian who is abusing this substance.
How Does an Individual Act While Abusing Meth?
Those who abuse meth will typically have more significant emotional reactions and behaviors tied to their abuse, as well as greater struggles with physical symptoms that can leave them unable to care for themselves and others, including children. Some of the most common signs that someone is abusing meth include the following:
- Social isolation
- Risky behaviors
- Violent tendencies
- Nausea and vomiting
- Liver damage
These telltale signs of meth abuse are just a few examples of the many symptoms that can occur when an adult is trapped within a cycle of meth abuse. Unfortunately, the effects of a meth addiction can be so invasive within the user’s life that it becomes impossible for him or her to properly care for any child that he or she is responsible for.
What are the Impacts on Children?
Many medical experts in California are seeing a rise in the rates of children coming to them with issues that have clearly developed in response to their parent or guardian’s abuse of meth. A handful of these experts are even going as far as saying that they have never seen so many children struggling with the effects of a meth-addicted parent or guardian before in their careers.
Children who are living within an environment where meth abuse is occurring are faced with extreme disadvantages and dangers that can not only threaten their emotional wellbeing, but their physical health, too. For instance, many children have been admitted to hospitals in the Fresno area for exposure to meth, such as consuming it in some way, shape, or form. Additionally, medical professionals have witnessed children who are suffering from starvation and failure to thrive, as their parents or guardians who are abusing meth are not cooking or providing them with food so they can grow healthy and strong. These physical aspects can be deadly for children, especially if they are not seen by a medical professional who can not only implement the appropriate, immediate care needed, and also notify the correct services to help intervene on behalf of the child or children.
Psychologically, being exposed to a parent or guardian who is trapped within the throes of meth addiction can be extremely detrimental to a child. One of the primary symptoms one experiences when abusing meth is violent behavior, which could be directed towards the child, leading to significant child abuse. Those children who are physically, sexually, or psychologically abused are more likely to adopt similar behaviors and also possess a greater chance of abusing substances like meth in the future as well. Additionally, neglect is also a severe psychological concern for a child. When a parent or guardian becomes so wrapped up in his or her own meth abuse, he or she is likely to neglect the needs and wants of his or her child. As a result, the child can suffer from neglect, which can cause the onset of mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, and suicidal behaviors.
Preventing the Destruction Caused by Meth Addiction
To prevent the destruction that comes from an addiction to meth takes more than just telling someone to “just quit” or “don’t do meth.” Those who become addicted to meth typically do not plan on doing so, and they tend to feel like it is too late to start over once an addiction develops. However, just because many individuals feel that way does not mean that, once they develop an addiction, there is no possible way to overcome it.
Those addicted to meth can always reach out for help through local treatment providers or even by searching for treatment centers online. At Sober Living by the Sea, we encourage anyone who is grappling with the pain of meth addiction to contact us to learn more about the programming options we supply, as well as the many ways in which we can help make a meth addiction a thing of the past.
Additionally, if one is aware of a child or children who is being mistreated by a person who is abusing meth, it is beneficial to notify the authorities so that the proper intervention can be supplied and the child or children living within that environment can be spared as many negative impacts as possible during this challenging time.