Children Living with Parents Who Have a Substance Use Disorders

Children Living with Parents Who Have a Substance Use Disorders
Posted 3/2/2020

This issue of The CBHSQ Report presents estimates of the number of children aged 17 or younger who lived with a parent with an SUD, alcohol use disorder, or illicit drug use disorder based on combined data from the 2009 to 2014 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUHs). NSDUH is an annual survey of the U.S. civilian, noninstitutionalized population aged 12 or older. One of NSDUH's strengths is the stability of the survey design, which allows for multiple years of data to be combined to examine substance use and mental health issues in the United States.

Overview of Findings:

  • Based on data from the combined 2009 to 2014 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, about 1 in 8 children (8.7 million) aged 17 or younger lived in households with at least one parent who had a past year substance use disorder (SUD). SUDs are characterized by recurrent use of alcohol or other drugs (or both) that results in significant impairment.
  • About 1 in 10 children (7.5 million) lived in households with at least one parent who had a past year alcohol use disorder.
  • About 1 in 35 children (2.1 million) lived in households with at least one parent who had a past year illicit drug use disorder.