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When Drug Abuse Causes Child Abuse...

April is Prevent Child Abuse Prevention Month 2019. This month is set aside to encourage communities to join together to raise awareness about the prevention of child abuse and neglect, which can lead to adverse childhood experiences, a direct cause of substance use, addiction, and a whole host of other problems. I believe that preventing child abuse and neglect starts at home - and practicing good parenting skills can keep our children from suffering traumatic events that lead to adverse childhood experiences.

Traumatic things happen in life – there’s nothing that any of us can do about that. But we can lessen the blow if we teach our children how to handle traumatic situations when they occur. That way, they will be less likely to experience certain situations as traumatic.

For instance, a couple who separates or divorces, can learn to work together to co-parent their children and keep them out of arguments so their children can weather the turmoil relatively unscathed. Of course, children are always affected by parents’ separation and divorce but it doesn’t have to be traumatic.

But the children of a parent who has a problem with alcohol, drugs, and even nicotine, cannot weather that storm. It’s more than a storm - it’s a monsoon... And it’s a monsoon from which your children cannot escape – it’s what is referred to as “collateral damage”… Children who have parents with a substance use disorder are more likely to be mentally and/or physically abused, a major cause of adverse childhood experiences. I think parents who find themselves in this situation need to seek help because having a substance use disorder is bad enough without allowing it to engulf their children, who are helpless against it.

So, if we want to do our part to help prevent child abuse and its by-product, adverse childhood experiences, then I think that, as parents, we need to make sure we don’t inadvertently cause our children to suffer any traumatic situations they will be forced relive throughout their lives. I think if parents keep their heads clear and their wits about them, they’ll be able to do everything they need to do to raise their children well - and that will go a long way towards preventing child abuse in the community. That’s our opinion. Share yours. #StartTalking. #ConversationStarter. #JustSaySomething. #GreatChildhoods. #Good4SCkids. #CAPMonth. #Pinwheel.

Emily HarperComment