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

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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 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.
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.

Related Topics

  • Behavioral Health
  • Child Welfare
  • Children 0-5
  • Children 6-19
  • Fathers/Partners
  • Parenting
  • Trauma