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10% of US Kids Live With Alcohol Abusing Parents

And children of alcoholics are far likelier to develop their own substance abuse problems.


7.5 million live with alcohol abusing parents.

By Valerie Tejeda


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This week is Children of Alcoholics Week, and a government report released yesterday says that one in 10 children in the United States lives with a parent who has experienced an alcohol abuse disorder in the past year—and many live with two addicted parents. According to researchers from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 7.5 million children—about 10.5% of the under-18 population—live with an alcoholic parent. Of these, 6.1 million live in two-parent households and 1.4 million live with a single alcohol-abusing parent—1.1 million with an alcoholic mother and 0.3 million with an alcoholic father. The report is based on data from children throughout the US aged 12 and older, surveyed from 2005-2010. “The enormity of this public health problem goes well beyond these tragic numbers as studies have shown that the children of parents with untreated alcohol disorders are at far greater risk for developing alcohol and other problems later in their lives,” says SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “SAMHSA and others are promoting programs that can help those with alcohol disorders find recovery—not only for themselves, but for the sake of their children. SAMHSA is also playing a key role in national efforts to prevent underage drinking and other forms of alcohol abuse.”

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