Substance abuse continues to plague families across Alabama. While drug use can have serious implications for individuals, it can also cause a ripple effect that harms other people. The most vulnerable amongst them are children. Exposure to parental substance abuse can have negative consequences for children that can be wide-ranging and severe, which is why if you have concerns about your child being exposed to substance abuse then you need to understand how to fight to protect your child.
How exposure to substance abuse affects children
The fight to protect your children starts with understanding how exposure to substance abuse affects them. Here are just a few of the ways that parental substance abuse can profoundly affect your children:
- Increased risk of abuse and neglect
- Developmental delays
- Educational delays
- Development of behavioral issues
- Poor school performance
- The onset of mental health issues like anxiety and depression
- Overwhelming stress as they take on a parental role
- Development of shame
While some of these affects may be acute in nature, others can be long-lasting and cause peripheral damage. For example, parental substance abuse that leads to physical abuse can leave a child with psychological harm, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Be diligent in gathering the evidence you need to support your position
When you’re unable to settle your child custody dispute with your spouse, a judge who knows very little about you and your family will decide the matter. While that might sound scary, it also gives you the opportunity to paint the narrative. To portray a clear picture, though, you’ll need evidence. Witness accounts, police reports, criminal records, and hospital records can all play an important role in your child custody dispute.
Yet, even once you gather evidence you need to know how to present it in a persuasive fashion that abides by the applicable laws and legal rules. This is where the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney may prove helpful.