Children Living with Parents who have a Substance Use Disorder

Image
Man sitting on a couch in an empty room
Year Published
2017
Author (Individual)
Lipari, R.N., and Van Horn, S.L.
Author (Organization)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Resource Type
Report
Resource Format
HTML
Resource Language
English

Parent substance use disorders (SUDs) can have negative impacts on children, including lower socioeconomic status and more difficulties in academic and social settings and family functioning when compared with children living with parents without an SUD. This article presents estimates of the number of children aged 17 or younger who lived with a parent with an SUD, alcohol use disorder, or illicit drug use disorder based on combined data from the 2009 to 2014 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUHs). NSDUH is an annual survey of the U.S. civilian, noninstitutionalized population aged 12 or older. The analysis is based on a sample size of 22,200 adults aged 18 or older with at least 1 related child aged 17 or younger residing in the household. Authors find that between 2009-2014 about 8.7 million (12.3 percent) children aged 17 or younger lived in U.S. households with at least one parent who had an SUD. About 7.5 million (10.5 percent) children lived in households with at least one parent who had an alcohol use disorder, and about 2.1 million (2.9 percent) children lived in households with at least one parent who had a past year illicit drug use disorder. These findings highlight the need for prevention and treatment resources for the whole family—from substance abuse treatment for the affected adults and prevention and supportive services for the children.

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