A new study shows that nearly 1 in 10 kids has a parent abusing or dependent on drugs or alcohol.
A report released by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reveals that a surprising number of children — more than 8 million — live with at least one parent who was dependent on or abused alcohol or an illicit drug in the past year.
Of those, about 5.4 million lived with a father who met the criteria for past year substance abuse or dependence, and 3.4 million live with a mother who met the criteria.
Children of substance abusers experience higher rates of child abuse and neglect, as well as other threats to their safety including physical injuries and deaths related to motor vehicle accidents.
Additionally, research shows that the children of substance abusers are at increased risk for drug and alcohol addiction.
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“The research increasingly shows that children growing up in homes with alcohol- and drug-abusing parents suffer — often greatly,” Eric Broderick, acting administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “The chronic emotional stress in such an environment can damage their social and emotional development and permanently impede healthy brain development, often resulting in mental and physical health problems across the lifespan. This underlines the importance of preventive interventions at the earliest possible age.”
All findings for the report, Children Living with Substance Dependent or Substance-Abusing Parents: 2002 to 2007, were based on multi-year combined data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
SOURCE: The Partnership for a Drug-Free America/Alcohol and Drug Scene
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