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How Parental Drug or Alcohol Abuse Can Affect a Child

Consuming alcohol or using drugs — even illegal drugs — is regular behavior for many Americans. When an addiction causes serious health problems or leads to domestic violence or criminal activity, there is little disagreement that a person has an abuse issue. However, most people who abuse alcohol or drugs appear to lead normal, functional lives. Not many people know about their problem — except for family members who have had to deal with the unpredictable, disturbing consequences.

If your former spouse has a problem with alcohol or drugs, you probably have concerns about sharing child custody. An impaired parent is a safety risk, especially if he or she is behind the wheel of a car. Studies also show that the children of alcoholic or drug-addicted parents are more likely to have the following negative physical, emotional and psychological problems:

  • Stress-related illnesses, including asthma, headaches and gastrointestinal disorders
  • More depression, anxiety and anti-social behavior
  • Feelings of shame, confusion, low self-esteem and guilt

There is also evidence showing that these children are less successful in school and more likely to develop a dependency on alcohol or drugs. In fact, children of alcoholics are three to four times more likely to be alcoholics.

Texas family court must investigate any allegations of alcohol or drug abuse made in a child custody hearing, but these charges are not always easy to prove. It is important to have the representation of an experienced family law attorney who can present the necessary evidence and make the best case for protecting the best interests of your child.

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Robert Reid McInvale
Attorney at Law

Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Houston. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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