The Relationship between Unsafe Home Environments and Addiction

The Relationship between Unsafe Home Environments and AddictionChildren require safety, nurturing and attention to thrive both physically and emotionally. From infancy through their college years, young people instinctively crave security. As much as they might say that they wish their parents would leave them alone, the truth is that knowing that they are protected and valuable are essential if they are ever to become healthy, functional adults. In other words, inattentive or unsafe home environments promote dysfunction, like psychological disorders, substance abuse and addiction. For people to overcome an addiction, they must have a home that promotes recovery.

What Makes a Home Unsafe?

When a young person grows up in an environment that is unsafe, she may feel worthless and neglected. A home can be unsafe, in any of the following ways:

  • Inattentive parents who don’t know where their children are or what they are doing
  • Access to drugs, alcohol and tobacco
  • Frequent unsupervised presence of other adults
  • Access to sexually explicit materials
  • Lack of attention to school attendance and performance
  • Parents or other adults who lose their temper and abuse children physically or verbally
  • Lack of good nutrition and medical care
  • Access to weapons

When children grow up in such environments they often feel like unintended consequences of their parents’ irresponsible behavior. Nothing undermines a young person’s sense of worth as fully as when he believes that he was just another accident.

Consequences of Neglect and Dangerous Homes

Emotional and physical neglect at home affect people beyond that destructive environment. As neglected young adults move on to adulthood, they tend to repeat the behaviors their parents modeled for them. They also tend to exude the following dangerous psychological symptoms of neglect:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Self-esteem deficiencies
  • Impulse control disorders
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Panic attacks
  • Sexual irresponsibility and promiscuity
  • Personality disorders
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

If a child shows these symptoms, she may suffer from neglect and a dangerous home.

Anxiety, Self-Esteem and Addiction

The pain of neglect at home often leads people to self-medicate their issues through drug and alcohol abuse. Additionally, abused people may seek other dangerous behaviors, including prostitution, gang violence, criminal activities and harmful thrill-seeking. Many addicts suffer from at least one emotional disorder, and a large number of neglected children become addicts as teenagers. Their need to belong will cause them to find friends wherever they can. Often that is in dangerous and toxic places.

Treatment for Addiction and Home Problems

If you experience stress, fear or other emotional pain from your unsafe home, then please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline right now. If you are concerned for a friend or loved one who demonstrates symptoms of neglect, abandonment or anxiety, know that we can help you determine the best way to help. Our counselors are standing by with free, confidential advice and can connect you to great recovery programs. Don’t let the pain from childhood continue to hurt you. You can find freedom from addiction and the anguish of abandonment.