Skip to main content

Three generations in a group photo

Experiences in early childhood are the biggest indicators of what the future will hold for children in their teen and adult years. Their cognitive, physical, social, and emotional states are being developed and are easily influenced and affected by their environment. Because the earliest stages of child development sets the foundation for the rest of their lives, it is vital to learn about the red flags that can lead to drug addiction and how to create an environment that prevents against future drug use.

But how much do childhood experiences really play a role in someone’s likelihood for drug addiction?

Recognizing and understanding the red flags in early childhood and how it can lead to drug addiction can help you or someone you love seek treatment and spiritual guidance.

Red flags that can lead to drug addiction

In early stages of development, children are extremely impressionable and are impacted by the decisions made by family members. The type of environment that the child grows up in is the largest indicator of whether or not the child may later become addicted to drugs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse; Principles of Substance Abuse Prevention for Early Childhood, the following are red flags that increase a child’s likelihood for drug addiction.

Neglect. If parents or guardians abandon the child’s essential needs or do not provide  security, love, support, or affection.

Insecure attachment. The child shows little or no emotional connection to the parent and may develop withdrawn or aggressive behavior.

Substance abuse. The use of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs negatively affects children in all stages of development, from prenatal development, infancy, toddler, to school stages. Substance abuse negatively affects the child’s emotional, physical, and mental well-being.

Stress. Children can experience stress from a multitude of factors including family members with a mental illness, family poverty, peer isolation, or neglect from parents or guardians.

Academic, social, or emotional problems. These risk factors include if children are struggling in school, are not performing at the proper school-level, display aggressiveness or shyness, are withdrawn from their peers, or display abnormal emotional outbursts.

Mental Illness. Children begin showing signs of mental illness in childhood. This can be caused by a range of factors including peer isolation, a family history of mental illness, or other emotional or social problems relating to school, social, or home life.

All of these red flags can have extremely detrimental effects on the child and if individuals recognize these signs, they must take immediate action towards helping the child and family members seek immediate help.

Protective factors that can help prevent drug addiction

The following protective factors help to decrease a child’s likelihood for drug addiction in their future teen and adult years.[1]

Supportive family. Parents provide a safe environment, economic stability, love, and support.

School readiness. Children are at the appropriate school-level and are equipped with the skills to function normally in school settings. Additionally, parents are supportive and fully engaged in the education and social processes.

Friends. Children interact with peers in a meaningful way for their particular age group and show signs of emotional regulation and adapt in social situations.

Behavior management. Children are able to maintain appropriate behavior or adapt their behavior as they grow older and become more competent of social and environmental norms.

Creating a spiritual environment  

The childhood years are the most crucial time in a person’s life. These years set the foundation for the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of the child. Without a strong foundation, individuals who grow up in unstable households have an increased risk for drug addiction. To ensure the household is filled with love and support or to make this change needed for the sake of the health livelihood of the child, one of the strongest protective factors of drug addiction is a strong spiritual foundation.

Establishing a strong faith in the home environment or during drug addiction treatment will ensure that your child has a community of love and support every step of the way. By instilling the Word of God and sharing His Light during the key developmental stages in childhood, you will create a strong individual who will continue to walk the path of God. By trusting in Him and seeking a faith-based approach to treatment, you will be on a journey that will not only save yourself but will save your child’s future.

Recovery through faith

To create a household filled with love and support, individuals who are struggling with addiction must seek immediate treatment. By seeking a treatment center that emphasizes whole person care and a faith-based approach, you or someone you love will finally receive the mental, physical, and spiritual guidance that is crucial in order to create a supportive household.

Covenant Hills Treatment Center offers a faith-based approach to helping anyone recover from their addiction. With a research-based approach and a wide range of program options, you will learn how to provide your children with the love and support needed in preventing drug addiction. Our professionally trained staff include ordained pastors, dietitians, doctors and counselors to provide you with the spiritual support you need to fully recover from addiction. The shared humanity you will feel along with an in-depth recovery program will empower you to become the whole-bodied and spiritual human being you are meant to be and can ultimately save your child’s life.

Do you need help, or is a loved one struggling with addiction? Please call us today at (800) 662-2873. This is a free, confidential call and assessment.