Growing up in a family with a substance-using parent is incredibly traumatic. In this environment, children are often subjected to insecurity, fear, uncertainty, and potential violence. Children learn to survive by suppressing their emotions. Children of addicts never have any security and stability in their lives. They experience a sense of horror and rejection. They often blame themselves for their family’s predicament. They find it difficult to trust people and to share their feelings. Research suggests that even small children experience a sense of mistrust, trauma, and rejection. Many youths take the path of drug and alcohol abuse due to their exposure to such activities as young children. They often become victims of a range of mental health problems. Some kids of addicts act out their fear and anger in a destructive way.
Drug prevention begins in the home through preventative education at a young age, which helps to keep children away from substance use in the future. The first thing that children from addicted families need to know is that they are just like their friends who have been trying to cope with an extremely stressful and chaotic environment. They find it very difficult to trust and talk openly to someone about their experiences. Opening up can be tough because they have learned through their experiences that they must protect their family’s secrets. They may feel like betraying their family by revealing a family secret. Usually, non-judgemental interaction with others helps them to vent and come to terms with their life. Providing vision, constant encouragement and support helps them to break the negative cycle and helps them to focus on their career goals as average kids.
The recovery journey of Nashamitra children starts from a very early stage of their parent’s involvement with the program. Their perceived needs and concerns are registered, and their recovery plans are drawn up. Recovery plans are local resources based on a common-sense approach which prevents Nashamitra children from being marginalised and vulnerable and empowers them for leading a reasonable life in future.
Some examples of Nashamitra children upliftment activities:
1. Basic needs - safety, clothes, food and shelter
2. Education helps (books, free coaching, and second-hand book bank)
3. Basic Computer literacy
4. Personal ID - support with the process