Does Drug Abuse Constitute Child Abuse?
Grandparents who love their grandchildren think that they deserve parents who do not misuse drugs or alcohol, and this is true. All children deserve parents who are fully there for them. Parents are not perfect, though, and can struggle with a variety of issues. Unless a child is being injured or neglected, a parent’s substance use disorder is unlikely to qualify as child abuse. This is especially likely to be true when there is another parent in the family who ensures that children get appropriate care or when a parent’s drug misuse does not occur when he or she is in charge of the children.
That said, studies do show that a parent with a substance use disorder is three times more likely to physically or sexually abuse their child than a parent who does not misuse drugs.