"LAWRENCE — As the opioid epidemic continues to impact communities across the country, The Psychological Center, Inc. (TPC) would like to remind and educate the community on how this crisis is impacting children of substance abusers.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 25 percent of children under the age of 18 are exposed to family alcohol and drug abuse or dependence. Research has shown that children in this environment are more likely to develop depression or anxiety at a young age, and use alcohol and/or drugs at an earlier age.

“It is easy for people to forget that in a household where a parent or another family member abuses drugs or alcohol, there are more victims than just the person who is suffering from addiction,” said Carina Pappalardo, CEO of The Psychological Center. “Ultimately, the children get hurt. These children are often neglected, which can result in mental and physical health issues, and even increase the likelihood that the child will develop a drug or alcohol problem of their own. Please, if you have or know a child who may be falling victim to their parent’s or guardian’s substance abuse, get them the help they need now.'"