THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) --
Almost 12 percent of
children in the United States live with a parent who has a substance
abuse problem, says a federal
study released this week.
Living in this type of home
environment can cause long-lasting mental and physical health
to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration, which did the study.
The analysis of national data from 2002 to 2007 also showed that:
Almost 7.3 million youths 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
About 5.4 million children lived
with a father who met the criteria for past-year substance
dependence or abuse
About 3.4 million children lived
with a mother who met these criteria
The findings were based on
responses from 87,656 parents, aged 18 and older, who were asked
about their substance dependence and abuse.
"The research increasingly shows that children growing up in homes
with alcohol- and drug-abusing parents suffer -- often greatly,"
Eric Broderick, the agency's acting administrator, said in a news
"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 life span," Broderick said.
"This underlines the
importance of preventive interventions at the earliest possible
The Nemours Foundation offers
advice to teens on how to deal with an alcoholic parent.