Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Review Finds Ways Of Helping Children Of Drug And Alcohol Misusers

Date:
May 1, 2007
Source:
University of Bath
Summary:
A new review suggests how children whose parents have drug or alcohol problems can be protected from the consequences usually associated with parental substance misuse.

A review published in the journal Advances in Psychiatric Treatment suggests how children whose parents have drug or alcohol problems can be protected from the consequences usually associated with parental substance misuse. Drawing on research from around the world, the review highlights ways of reducing children’s exposure to risk and increasing the protective factors that promote the child’s resilience.

“The children of people with drug or alcohol problems usually suffer very badly,” said Professor Richard Velleman from the Mental Health R&D Unit (MHRDU), a collaboration between the University of Bath and the Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.

“Conservative estimates suggest as many as 26 million people in the UK are affected by problematic alcohol and drug misuse in their immediate family. As a result, these family members are more likely to experience high levels of violence, witness or experience abuse, and suffer other disruptions to family life. Children whose parents misuse drugs or alcohol often demonstrate the negative effects of this through emotional difficulties, behavioural problems and social isolation. This can lead to depression and anxiety, or involve early drug or alcohol misuse and antisocial behaviour.

“Whilst it is easy to become pessimistic about the future of children brought up in these kinds on environments, we find in practice that some children are resilient; they develop no significant problems related to their parents’ substance misuse.

”We have looked through the research literature on this subject and drawn on our own research with more than 1,000 people whose families have been affected by substance misuse to find out why this might be, and how we can encourage similar results elsewhere.”

The findings highlight the risk factors – such as domestic violence, both parents being substance misusers, exposure to criminal activity and witnessing someone injecting drugs - that place family members at greater risk of negative outcomes.

It also shows the factors and processes – such as improving parenting techniques, helping the child learn to disengage from negative situations and support from school, family and other networks - that make children more resilient to the negative impacts of parental drug or alcohol misuse.

“Resilience is really a process rather than a static trait and it is possible, especially for young people, to develop greater resilience to negative situations,” said Lorna Templeton, deputy manager and senior researcher at the MHRDU, who also worked on the review.

“In practice this means working with family members who can help look after the children, teaching the child how to avoid problems, helping them learn how to disengage from negative, and embrace the positive aspects of their life, and looking for other stabilising influences.

“Resilience is self-perpetuating, but a central issue in its success is giving children the feeling that they had choices and were in control of their lives.”

Government estimates suggest that almost four million people aged 16-65 in the UK are dependent on alcohol or drugs and a further nine million people take drugs or drink alcohol at risky levels that affect their family’s wellbeing.

Assuming that every one of these people will negatively affect at least two family members, a conservative estimate of 26 million people in the UK are affected by problematic alcohol and drug misuse in their immediate family.

“There is growing recognition of the importance of involving the family in drug and alcohol treatments programmes,” said Professor Velleman. However, this should not just be seen in the context of treating the individual with the problem, but also in terms of reducing the impact on the wider family. Family members are often overlooked, and it is important that they receive support in their own right; it’s not just about changing the behaviour of the misuser.”

Reference: Understanding and modifying the impact of parents’ substance misuse on children, Advances in Psychiatric Treatment (2007), vol. 13, 79-89, Richard Velleman & Lorna Templeton.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Bath. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Bath. "Review Finds Ways Of Helping Children Of Drug And Alcohol Misusers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070430093939.htm>.
University of Bath. (2007, May 1). Review Finds Ways Of Helping Children Of Drug And Alcohol Misusers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070430093939.htm
University of Bath. "Review Finds Ways Of Helping Children Of Drug And Alcohol Misusers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070430093939.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins