Children Whose Parents Use Alcohol or Drugs Have Increased Risk of Medical Problems

Children whose parents use alcohol or drugs are at increased risk of medical and behavioral problems, according to a new report.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, which published the report, urges pediatricians to assess children’s risk, and intervene when necessary, according to PsychCentral.

“Alcohol misuse and substance use are exceedingly common in this country, and parents’ or caregivers’ substance use may affect their ability to consistently prioritize their children’s basic physical and emotional needs and provide a safe, nurturing environment,” said report co-author Vincent C. Smith, MD, MPH.

About 20 percent of U.S. children grow up in a home in which someone misuses alcohol or has a substance use disorder, the report notes.

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