Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Review finds ways of helping the children of drug and alcohol misusers

02.05.2007
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.”

Andrew McLaughlin | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/2007/4/30/substancemisuse.html

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Sibling differences: Later-borns choose less prestigious programs at university
14.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

nachricht Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ
09.11.2017 | Vanderbilt University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk

17.01.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Only an atom thick: Physicists succeed in measuring mechanical properties of 2D monolayer materials

17.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Fraunhofer HHI receives AIS Technology Innovation Award 2018 for 3D Human Body Reconstruction

17.01.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>