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July/August 2009Vol. 10, No. 6SAMHSA Reports on Children of Substance-Using Parents

Recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) illustrate the breadth of the parental substance use problem. According to SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), more than 1 in 10 children were living in homes with substance-dependent or substance-abusing parents between 2002 and 2007.

The April 2009 issue of The NSDUH Report examines the number of children living with substance-dependent or substance-abusing parents, including 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. Data show that more than 8.3 million children (11.9 percent) lived with at least one parent who was dependent on or abused alcohol or an illicit drug during the previous year. Alcohol abuse was more prevalent than drug abuse among parents, and fathers were more likely to be abusers than were mothers. These data highlight the broad need for prevention, support, and intervention services for children and families.

To read the full report, visit the SAMHSA website: (256 KB)