Study: 1 in 10 U.S. Kids Have an Alcoholic Parent

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

A new report shows that 10 percent of our nation's children are living with an alcoholic parent, and those kids are more likely to become alcoholics themselves or develop other problems.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration study found 7.5 million children lived with an alcoholic parent in the last year.

The report entitled, "Data Spotlight: Over 7 Million Children Live with a Parent with Alcohol Problems" includes information based on a survey of 67,500 Americans.

Along with highlighting that one in ten children has an alcoholic parent, the report also shows that those kids are more likely to become alcoholics themselves and have a greater risk of developing other problems like depression and anxiety.

The director of Family Counseling Services in Wausau says children who grow up in alcoholic households are put out of balance at a very early age.

"Think about what it would be like to grow up in an erratic, hostile, sometimes violent environment," said Andy Benedetto, AM, LCSW. "What kids sometimes do is repress a lot of the feelings that they have."

Benedetto says therapy can help children identify and express their feelings, which otherwise can overwhlem them.

The National Association for Children of Alcoholics provides a list of professionals who are available to help.


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