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Thursday, February 16, 2012

More than 7 Million Children Live with a Parent with Alcohol Problems

An annual average of 7.5 million children younger than the age of 18 (10.5 percent of all children; Figure) live with a parent who had an alcohol use disorder in the past year.1 These children are at a greater risk for depression, anxiety disorders, problems with cognitive and verbal skills, and parental abuse or neglect.2 Furthermore, they are 4 times more likely than other children to develop alcohol problems themselves.3

Children may be exposed to family alcohol problems regardless of their household composition. According to the 2005 to 2010 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUHs), of the 7.5 million children living with a parent with an alcohol use disorder, most of these children (6.1 million) lived with two parents and either one or both of these parents had an alcohol problem. However, 1.4 million children lived in households with single parents who had alcohol use disorders. In these households, 1.1 million children lived with a mother, and 0.3 million lived with a father.
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