Friday Feb 17, 201202:36 AM GMT
7.5 million US kids live with a parent with alcohol problems
Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:35AM
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Using data from a national survey, a new government report released on Thursday reveals that 10.5 percent of children under the age of 18 (7.5 million of the population) in the U.S. live with a parent who has experienced an alcohol use disorder in the past year.


The report was released to coincide with Children of Alcoholics Week, which runs from 12 to 18 February.


Children who live with an alcoholic parent are at greater risk of parental neglect or abuse. They also have a greater risk of developing mental health problems such as anxiety disorders, depression, and problems with cognitive and verbal skills.


For the report, analysts from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), used data from the organization's 2005-2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The nationwide survey is conducted every year and covers about 67,500 people aged 12 and over.  




Children of alcoholics are at high risk for developing problems with alcohol and other drugs; they often do poorly at school, live with pervasive tension and stress, have high levels of anxiety and depression and experience coping problems.


Slightly more than half of Americans aged 12 or older reported being current drinkers of alcohol in the 2009 survey (51.9 percent). This translates to an estimated 130.6 million people, which is similar to the 2008 estimate of 129.0 million people (51.6 percent).


In 2009, nearly one quarter (23.7 percent) of persons aged 12 or older participated in binge drinking. This translates to about 59.6 million people. The rate in 2009 is similar to the estimate in 2008. Binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least 1 day in the 30 days prior to the survey.


In 2009, heavy drinking was reported by 6.8 percent of the population aged 12 or older, or 17.1 million people. This rate was similar to the rate of heavy drinking in 2008. Heavy drinking is defined as binge drinking on at least 5 days in the past 30 days.


Of the roughly 40,000 youth ages 15 to 20 hospitalized in 2008, the most recent data available, 79 percent were drunk when they arrived at the hospital, researchers say. Alcohol abuse and addiction and drinking-related emotional problems were among the diagnoses.


Research has shown that nearly 80% of high school kids have tried alcohol.



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