Addicted parents - vulnerable children. Distortions in parent - infant relation and possibilities of help
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Zakład Psychologii i Psychopatologii Rozwoju, Instytut Psychologii Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego
Submission date: 2017-04-22
Final revision date: 2017-06-30
Acceptance date: 2017-07-02
Publication date: 2017-08-31
Corresponding author
Magdalena Chrzan-Dętkoś   

University of Gdansk, Poland, Bażyńskiego 1 Str, 80-952 Gdańsk, Polska
Psychoter 2017;181(2):21-36
The consequences of parent’s addiction for child development are well examined and described, although treatment centres relatively rarely create programs directed to parents. Although abstinence maintained by the parent is a protective factor for the child development, stress associated with abstinence and the ongoing healing process increase the risk of child abuse and neglect. Developmental behaviours of the child and it needs, can exacerbate parent’s tension and activate the desire to consume alcohol, drug, which even laid off, is a strongly rewarding stimulus. Due to the fact that taking the psychoactive drugs disturb the functioning of the reward system, homeostasis and adaptive morphological changes, other stimuli, including social stimuli, related to the child, discontinue to be attractive and rewarding. The consequence of this is that the child safety and it’s bond with the parent can be at risk. The aim of this article is to describe the neurobiological relationships between taking psychoactive drugs and the dysregulation of the brain centres involved in creating a parent-child bond. In addition, a therapeutic program will be introduced - Mothering from Inside Out (MIO), developed by a team of scientists under the direction of Nancy Suchman from the Yale University. The program supports parents in developing their reflective function - the ability to assign the emotional and mental meanings to one's own and child's behaviours. The program is a support for treatment systems for addicted adults bringing up young children and is an example of integrating neuroscience and psychotherapeutic interventions.
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