NSDUH Report: Children Living with Substance-Dependent or Substance-Abusing Parents: 2002 to 2007

Source: SAMHSA News Release, 4/29/09

Study: More Than 1 in 10 Children Live with a Substance Abusing

Almost 12 percent of children under the age of 18 years of age live with at least one parent who was dependent on or abused alcohol or an illicit drug during the past year, according to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The report is based on national data from 2002 to 2007.

“The research increasingly shows that children growing up in homes with alcohol- and drug-abusing parents suffer – often greatly,” said SAMHSA Acting Administrator Eric Broderick, D.D.S., M.P.H. “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.”

Among the findings:

• Almost 7.3 million children lived with a parent who was dependent on or abused alcohol
• About 2.1 million children lived with a parent who was dependent on or abused illicit drugs
• 5.4 million children lived with a father who met the criteria for past year substance dependence or abuse, and 3.4 million lived with a mother who met this criteria.

The full report is available on the web  at http://oas.samhsa.gov/2k9/SAparents/SAparents.cfm

Copies may be obtained free of charge by calling SAMHSA’s Health Information Network at 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727) or going to http://ncadistore.samhsa.gov/catalog/productDetails.aspx?ProductID=17245

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