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SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
July/August 2009, Volume 17, Number 4 

Under the Influence: Fathers, Adolescents, & Alcohol Use

Does a Dad’s Drinking Influence His Adolescent Children’s Substance Use?

A recent statistical report from SAMHSA emphasizes the influence of fathers—in particular, the influence of a father’s drinking habits on his children.

The report, Fathers’ Alcohol Use and Substance Use among Adolescents, cites data from SAMHSA’s 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

Prevalence

Almost 1 in 12 fathers living with adolescents age 12 to 17 had an alcohol use disorder, while 68.1 percent used alcohol in the past year but did not have an alcohol use disorder. A total of 24.1 percent of fathers did not use alcohol in the past year.

Graphic of silhouetted adults and children

Past-year alcohol use among adolescents was lower for those who lived with a father who did not use alcohol in the past year (21.1 percent) than for those who lived with a father who used alcohol but did not have an alcohol use disorder (33.2 percent).

For adolescents who lived with a father with an alcohol use disorder, the rate of past-year alcohol use was 38.8 percent.

Illicit Drug Use

Data show that adolescent illicit drug use was higher in households where the father drank alcohol. Of young people age 12 to 17 who lived with a father who drank alcohol in the past year but did not have an abuse disorder, 18.4 percent used illicit drugs.

That number increased to 24.2 percent for adolescents living with a father who did have an alcohol use disorder. Among those living with a father who abstained from alcohol in the past year, illicit drug use was lower: 14.0 percent.

Public Awareness

Public awareness is increasing about the impact of paternal alcohol use and abuse on children.

Data used in this report are based on responses from 11,056 fathers and 9,537 father-child pairs. The report was developed by SAMHSA’s Office of Applied Studies (OAS).

Download Fathers’ Alcohol Use and Substance Use among Adolescents.

Alcohol Use and Alcohol Use Disorder among Adolescents (Living with a Father), by the Father’s Level of Alcohol Use in the Past Year: 2002 to 2007

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chart showing alcohol use and alcohol use disorder among adolescents (living with a father), by the father's level of alcohol use in the past year - click to Enlarge image

*Binge alcohol use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion (i.e., at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other) on at least 1 day in the past 30 days.

Source: 2002 to 2007 SAMHSA National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUHs).

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Previously in SAMHSA News

Parental Involvement Makes a Difference

Children, Parents, & Substance Abuse

Underage Drinking & Media Literacy


Also of Interest

The following recent short reports from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) provide related information.

Children Living with Substance-Dependent or Substance-Abusing Parents: 2002 to 2007

Alcohol Treatment: Need, Utilization, and Barriers

Underage Alcohol Use: Where Do Young People Get Alcohol?




  Statistics on Substance Abuse,  
  Mental Health  
State by State Estimates

State by State Estimates

Every state faces a different set of challenges with substance abuse and mental health issues, including binge drinking and depression.

Treatment Discharges: Latest Data

Treatment Discharges: Latest Data

SAMHSA's Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) recently updated its data on discharges from treatment facilities.


  Treatment Updates  
TIP 50: Literature Review

TIP 50: Literature Review

Part 3 of TIP 50, Addressing Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Substance Abuse Treatment, is available.

Alcohol Abuse Treatment: Need, Barriers

Many people who need treatment for an alcohol problem are not seeking help. Why?

National Directory Updated and Available

National Directory Updated and Available

An updated guide to finding local substance abuse treatment programs is available.


  Real Warrior Campaign  
Reaching Out Makes a Real Difference

Reaching Out Makes a Real Difference

The Real Warriors Campaign is fighting the stigma of asking for help.


  Prevention Update  
Retail Tobacco Sales to Youth

Retail Tobacco Sales to Youth

Retail sales of tobacco products to young people continue to drop.

Parent Involvement Makes a Difference

Parent Involvement Makes a Difference

Parents play an important role in preventing substance abuse.

Suicide Prevention Update

Suicide Prevention Update

New funding, Web site redesign to improve navigation, and more.


  Grants  
Prevention Awards

Prevention Awards

To advance community-based prevention programs, $190 million to 25 grantees.

Calculating Program Allotments

A new guide provides information on procedures to calculate allocations for some key block and formula grants.

Drug Free Communities: Continuation Awards

More than 500 community coalitions nationwide recently received Drug Free Communities (DFC) continuation awards for their programs.


  Health Reform  
Nine Core Principles

Nine Core Principles

Ensuring current reform efforts include mental health and substance abuse issues.


  Mental Health  
Forecasting the Next 5 Years

Forecasting the Next 5 Years

Changes are coming to create “whole health,” person-centered care.


  Adolescents & Young Adults  
Need Treatment? Many Say No

Need Treatment? Many Say No

Nearly 7 million Americans age 18 to 25 were classified as needing treatment in the past year.


  Recovery Month  
Celebrating 20 Years of Recovery

Celebrating 20 Years of Recovery

Get up–to–the–minute updates on September's events.


  Also in this Issue  
Under the Influence: Fathers and Alcohol Use

Under the Influence: Fathers and Alcohol Use

Does dad's drinking affect his adolescent children?

Methadone Advisory

New information on the dangers of methadone in combination with other drugs.



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Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration – 1 Choke Cherry Road – Rockville, MD 20857
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