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Parent Deployment Increases Likelihood of Substance Abuse

A new study conducted by scientists at the University of Iowa suggests that there is a direct relationship between military deployment of parents and the likelihood of substance abuse in children and teens. The 2010 Iowa Youth Survey gathered data from sixth, eight and eleventh graders in the Iowa public school system. Researchers discovered an increase in instances of alcohol use, binge drinking, marijuana use, and prescription drug misuse over the previous 30 days among children of military deployed or recently returned parents. Not all participants had parents involved in the military, but the researchers focused on data involving children in these situations. According to the study, rates of alcohol use were seven to nine percent higher among military children, and binge drinking saw a five to eight percent increase. Instances of marijuana use were higher for children with parents in the military and this trend increased with age, with eleventh graders showing the most common marijuana use.

Experts attribute the statistics partially to the disruption of life associated with a parental deployment, since many children live with non-parental guardians during this time. In fact, children who participated in the study and were living with a non-relative guardian at the time showed a 42 percent increase in binge drinking compared to children from nonmilitary families. These statistics emphasize the importance of support needed for children who come from military families, and suggest that programs should be implemented to focus on substance abuse prevention and provide mentoring and guidance while parents are deployed. Schools and governmental institutions should be aware of the increased risk of substance abuse in military children.

Retreat at Lancaster County offers substance abuse treatment programs specifically tailored to the need of young adults through the age of 26. Focusing on the unique issues this age group is faced with, the staff are committed to helping teens and young adults learn the skills necessary to cope without resorting to substance abuse.

To begin your drug or alcohol addiction rehab treatment and recovery at Retreat now, please call us for more information or immediate travel arrangements to our Lancaster, PA location or from surrounding areas in DE, MD, DC, NJ, NY, and other parts of Pennsylvania including Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

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