The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) supports the
National Survey on Drug Use and Health each year to monitor statistics and trends in substance abuse. Recently, SAMHSA averaged data from the last five years and discovered that 7.5 million minors in America are living with parents who currently have an alcohol problem – nearly 11 percent of the population under 18 years of age.
The survey found that the vast majority of the parents of kids living with an alcoholic were married. In fact, 6.1 million – more than 80 percent of the parents struggling with alcoholism – remained with their partner. Among the one-parent families dealing with alcohol abuse, 78 percent were single mothers.
The SAMHSA survey also discovered that 43 percent of adults in the US report that during their childhood they were conscious of the fact that a member of their extended family had an issue with alcohol. Over half of these same individuals now realize, as adults, that a blood relative is an alcoholic. This shows that a huge number of American kids are being exposed to alcoholism and its side effects every day at very young ages.
Experts worry that the children of alcoholics face a number of problems as they grow because they are getting less guidance and attention from their parents as they face difficulties in life. When their parents’ focus is on alcohol and struggling to cope with their own stresses, they do not have the same energy to provide their kids appropriate care as parents who are not dependent on alcohol.
The neglect experienced by children of alcoholics is most likely, in part, responsible for the higher rates of the following issues:
If a parent leaves their alcohol issues unresolved, the impact on the child will also remain unsettled, causing untold damage – there’s no better reason to seek help. When a parent leads by example and deals with his or her own issues, this can only benefit the children and their future mental and physical health.
If you or someone you care about is a parent with a drinking problem, help is available. Contact us and let us match you with treatment programs that provide family counseling and treatment services. You and your children deserve to start down the road to healing today.