More than one in four children in the United States now live with a family member who has an alcohol abuse problem, according to a report in the January 2000 issue of the American Journal of Public Health. This has a major impact on these children, including putting them in a very high-risk category for becoming substance abusers themselves.
Clearly it is best for these kids if the family members get their drinking under control. But even if they don’t, early intervention for the children can make a huge difference.
The May 1999 edition of Pediatrics outlines strategies for helping these kids. Short-term small group meetings of children in the same situation are most effective.
Children deserve this support. Sadly, most don’t get it.