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Youth Living With Substance Abuse or Substance Dependence

by James Heller 11. May 2009 10:09
It is common for teen alcoholics and drug addicts to be able to name at least one close family member with the disease.  Since it can skip generations, it is not surprising that a family history of alcohol dependence or drug addiction is so prevalent with patients in youth alcohol and drug treatment.  But when a child is raised in a home with substance abusing or substance dependent parents, suffering goes beyond genetics.

The report referenced below from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides information that may shock people outside of the alcohol and drug treatment community.  It is hard to grasp that 1 in 10 youths live in this situation.  And it should be noted that in most cases they will copy their parents’ behavior.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers is previewing and linking this report with the hope that it brings awareness to the community at large about the problems of family alcohol dependence and drug addiction.  The effect reaches beyond the walls of these households to the youth’s friends and families.  This kind of awareness has the potential to slow or even reverse the rising adolescent alcohol and drug abuse trends.

-- Begin external content --

Parental substance dependence and abuse can have profound effects on children, including child abuse and neglect, injuries and deaths related to motor vehicle accidents, and increased odds that the children will become substance dependent or abusers themselves. Up-to-date estimates of the number of children living with substance-dependent or substance-abusing parents are needed for planning both adult treatment and prevention efforts and programs that support and protect affected children.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) can be used to address this data need. NSDUH annually collects data on alcohol or illicit drug dependence or abuse. It defines dependence or abuse using criteria specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), which includes such symptoms as withdrawal, tolerance, use in dangerous situations, trouble with the law, and interference in major obligations at work, school, or home during the past year. The NSDUH sample includes representative subsamples of mothers and fathers, as well as mother-father pairs who live in the same household. The survey obtains information about children living in the household, including age and relationship to the adult respondent.

This issue of The NSDUH Report examines the number of children living with substance-dependent or substance-abusing parents. It focuses on biological, step-, adoptive, and foster children under 18 years of age who were living with one or both parents at the time of the survey interview.  All findings are based on annual averages from the combined 2002 to 2007 NSDUH data.

-- Source: http://oas.samhsa.gov/2k9/SAparents/SAparents.htm --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.