When parents or other family members use drugs, the children can get hurt.

Neglect

  • People with drug problems can forget to take care of the kids.
  • There might not be anyone making meals or helping the kids get washed, dressed, or dropped off to school.
  • There might not be anyone to buy clothes or do the laundry.
  • There might not be anyone to take the kids to the doctor or help with homework.

Unsafe living conditions

  • Drug use can make parents unable to work and earn money.
  • They might use up the family's money.
  • The kids might go without heat, food, electricity, or even a place to live.

Physical danger

  • When family members with drug problems are at home, it may not be safe for the kids.
  • Family members with drug problems might not be alert enough to protect kids from accidents or from other adults who would harm them.
  • There might be a lot of fighting.
  • They might abuse or neglect the children.
  • If someone at home is dealing drugs or doing other crimes, it's also dangerous for the kids.

Children might have to leave

  • If parents are using drugs, the Department of Children and Family Services might take children out of the home to keep them safe and cared for. They might have to live with a family member in another home. Or they might have to live with foster parents.

Future problems

  • When kids grow up with these problems around them, they are more likely to have drug problems of their own. 

Visit the Easy-to-Read Drug Facts webpage Help Children and Teens Stay Drug-Free to learn how to prevent kids from using drugs.

NEXT: Drug Use Hurts Unborn Babies