Substance abuse continues to be a problem that plagues our country. As tragic as that fact is on its own, even more devastating is the reality that drug use has far reaching implications, sometimes harming those who are the most vulnerable amongst us: children. If you’re concerned that your children are being exposed to parental substance abuse, then you need to know the potential negative impacts so that you can take the steps necessary to protect them as fully as possible, which may mean seeking a modification of custody or visitation.
The effects of parental substance abuse
The effects of parental substance abuse are deep, wide, and long-lasting. Here are just some of the ways that a child’s exposure to parental substance abuse can negatively impact a child:
- Increased risk of abuse and neglect
- Development of shame
- Onset of anxiety and depression
- Increased parental responsibility when the parent is unable to fulfill them
- Development of aggressive behaviors
- Regressions in school performance
- Increased risk of substance abuse
- Emotional and social distancing
The reality is that parental substance abuse puts your child’s physical, emotional, and psychological wellbeing at risk. If that worries you, then you need to know how to protect them through legal action.
Proving parental substance abuse
To successfully obtain a modification of custody or visitation, you’ll have to show that your child’s other parent has engaged in substance abuse, perhaps even while caring for your child. To do this, you’ll want to speak to potential witnesses, assess police reports, analyze criminal records, and perhaps even discuss the issue with your child or his or her teachers and therapist.
Gathering this evidence and persuasively presenting it to a court can be challenging matters, especially when emotions are running on high. That’s why a lot of parents who find themselves in this situation choose to turn to a family law attorney for help. If you think you could benefit from legal guidance, then you might want to seek out an advocate who is right for you.