Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2009 GCASA Admissions Data - Growing up with substance abuse

We know from research that people who come from families where substance abuse is a problem have a 40% greater chance of having a substance abuse problem as an adult as someone who doesn't have that family history.

At GCASA the data is even stronger. In 2009, 48%, or 507/1050 admissions reported growing up in families where substance abuse was an issue. In 2008, 47% or 518/1094 reported being children of substance abusers.

Take aways:

1. Is substance abuse a family disease? Most definitely.

2. Are the children of substance abusing parents likely to have substance abusing kids when they grow up? There is a 50/50 chance.

3. Is it worthwhile to provide preventive services to these high risk kids? Absolutely! Supposing heart disease or cancer or other life threatening illnesses ran an almost 50% chance of being transmitted to the subsequent generation, wouldn't you want to do every thing you could to inform the at risk kids of the factors which influence the contracting of their familial disease? Absolutely!

4. When the risk and trends are so apparent, why doesn't our society do more to warn people about the dangers? There is tremendous shame involved, social stigma, and the breweries and distilleries have an opposite agenda of selling their products to make money rather than caring about the people who are harmed. The norms and attitudes towards substance abuse in our society are slowing changing in a more positive direction, but as a society we still have a long way to go.

This is article #3 in a series on 2009 GCASA Admissions Data

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