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Drug Use & Trafficking, the Effect on Children

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Drug Use, Trafficking and Children

Recently, in a drug trafficking raid in a Canadian province, the presence of a newborn child and a toddler were in the same room as the drugs and traffickers being arrested.

This situation is more common than one would like to admit. Many reports filed by law enforcement officers who work endlessly to stop drug trafficking note the presence of minors during the raid. Over time, a substance user can find themself in a relationship where the kids are put in harm’s way.

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Effects on children of parents who misuse substances

The idea may sound impossible. Who would think of putting their child in such an unsafe environment? Currently, there are thousands of homes across the country where a parent or guardian is abusing alcohol or drugs with children present. This means the child is at risk. It can have varied negative influences on the child at different stages of growth.

As we know in this day and age, if drinking or drug use is done during pregnancy, the unborn is certainly at risk of defects, premature birth, and withdrawal symptoms, also known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.

In research, they found that in young children, tweens, or teens, there are certain risk, such as;

  • Behavioural or emotional problems
  • Forced to care for a parent or sibling
  • Poor grades or school presence, wavering attention
  • Risk of emotional abuse or neglect
  • Exposing youth to criminal activities and illicit substance
  • Separation from parents.
  • Risk of residue on surfaces causing child intoxication
  • Etc.
 Medical paraphernalia.

Future generations in peril

Drug addiction and its ripple effects indeed inflict significant harm on children and society as a whole. The statistics paint a stark picture of the devastation caused by substance abuse, from fractured families to strained communities.

Law enforcement officers often encounter the tragic consequences firsthand. They witness the toll drugs take on vulnerable individuals, such as children caught inadvertently in the web of addiction.

The presence of drugs and drug paraphernalia in environments where children should feel safe and nurtured is deeply troubling. It underscores the urgent need for comprehensive approaches to address substance abuse, including prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation efforts.

 Father and son.
 Sitting and talking.

Moreover, the impact of addiction extends far beyond the individual user, affecting their families, friends, and colleagues, often leading to fractured relationships and emotional turmoil.

Efforts to combat drug trafficking are crucial for safeguarding communities and preventing the spread of addiction. However, it’s equally essential to address the root causes of substance abuse and provide support to those struggling with addiction. This involves law enforcement measures and investing in education, healthcare, and social services to prevent substance abuse and provide effective treatment options.

Reasons Behind this Behaviour

Why this occurs is very much due to what drug abuse causes to people. Substance abuse can alter brain chemistry, leading to changes in cognitive, decision-making, and impulse control.

Over time, addiction can hijack an individual’s priorities and values, causing them to prioritize obtaining and using drugs or alcohol above all else. It would include their own well-being and the safety of their family.

The more a person uses illicit drugs or alcohol, the more a person loses their sense of worth. And their responsibility level plummets. Drugs and alcohol affect more than just the body. It has a great effect on the mind and a person’s personality. Addiction can lead individuals to engage in risky behaviours, often without regard for the consequences.

Moreover, the cycle of addiction can be difficult to break, as the cravings and withdrawal symptoms reinforce the compulsive use of drugs, further undermining an individual’s ability to make rational choices.

For instance, a mother who uses some cocaine would find herself driving with two kids in the car, high on cocaine. She is headed towards her dealers to buy a few more grams before she runs out. Every year, there are parents arrested for child endangerment.  

Helping the Innocent

We shouldn’t forget the innocent who find themselves victims. Once again, the devastating actions of those who have lost all care for what happens to their environment or others. Some only care about their own personal gain.

By understanding the multifaceted nature of addiction and its impact on responsibility and behaviour, we can better support individuals struggling with substance use disorder and work towards building healthier and more resilient communities.

Maybe you know someone suffering from substance use disorder. You have it in you to help more than just the person with SUD; you can also help the innocent child by reaching out for help in treatment.

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