Survey Finds 25% of Children Must Cope

Survey Finds 25% of Children Must Cope
Posted by FoM on December 31, 1999 at 17:23:57 PT
By Judy Holland, Examiner Washington Bureau
Source: San Francisco Examiner
One in four U.S. children under age 18 are living in households with an adult who is addicted to alcohol or abuses it, according to a comprehensive survey. The survey released Thursday provides "the most precise estimate to date of children affected by family alcohol problems," said Dr. Enoch Gordis, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a federal agency, which sponsored the survey.
"Given the prevalence of alcohol abuse and alcoholism in the U.S. adult population, however, the number of exposed children shocks but regrettably does not surprise." Gordis said adult drinking problems cause instability and chaos in the lives of an estimated 19 million children who live with an alcoholic parent or relative. "A family in which alcohol is being abused, is a family in which children have a hard time growing up," Gordis said in an interview. "It's unpredictable, because you don't know if there is going to be anger or hostility or violence. It's a stressful, chaotic environment to grow up in." The study also says that more than 7 percent of U.S. adults, or 14 million people, in 1992 abused alcohol or were dependent on it. Alcohol abuse is defined as a pattern of drinking that results in harm to family relationships or job performance. Alcohol dependence means a person needs to drink increasingly more to achieve a desired effect and also suffers withdrawal symptoms. Epidemiologist Bridget F. Grant conducted the study for the institute based on data collected from 42,862 respondents who were interviewed as part of the 1992 census, the latest data available. Gordis said the information is valid despite the survey's age because alcoholism rates have held steady over the last decade. In her report in the January issue of the American Journal of Public Health, Grant says alcohol abuse and dependence are the two "most prevalent and deleterious psychiatric disorders in the world." The study showed that men were more than twice as likely to be problem drinkers than women. Almost 10 million of the adults who were problem drinkers were men, compared with almost 4 million women. The study, known as the 1992 National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey, included questions such as, "In your entire life, did you ever find that you had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you wanted?" Or, did you ever "try to stop or cut down on your drinking but found you couldn't do it?" Grant says in her article that children whose families include an alcoholic grow up in an environment that has more conflicts, less bonding and greater hostility. She says parental alcoholism also can cause behavioral problems in children, drug abuse by teenagers and anxiety disorders. The Associated Press contributed to this report. By Judy Holland Examiner Washington BureauFriday, December 31, 1999 1999 San Francisco Examiner Newshawk: Frank S. WorldThe Drug Policy Forum Of Wisconsin
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Comment #2 posted by Bryan on January 02, 2000 at 03:57:27 PT
Alcohol and children
This is the real "message" the drug warriors are sending our children.
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Comment #1 posted by Matt on January 01, 2000 at 11:18:59 PT:
Just testing
Just testing
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