The Risk of Drug and Alcohol Abuse for Children Higher in Military Families
Children of our military at risk?
Researchers at the University of Iowa report that in families where a parent is deployed on active duty, the children are more likely to binge drink and use illicit drugs compared to children of non-military parents. Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa, Steven Arndt, stated that families of military personnel need to be offered more community support in regards to this issue.1
Arndt headed the study that evaluated data from a 2010 Iowa Youth Survey that sought to investigate whether being a child of active military parent(s) is associated with higher rates of child substance abuse.1 More than 78,000 children completed the survey, answering questions regarding alcohol, drugs, and violence, as well as perceptions of their families, friends, and school.1 The majority of respondents did not have a parent serving active duty; however, 1,800 did.1
Study results showed that binge drinking was a problem for 2 percent of children whose parents were not in the military, a result that jumped to 7 percent for those whose parents were active duty.1 Marijuana use was also higher—five percent higher.1
How can our military children be helped?
Iowa has a high percentage of parents serving in the Reserve or National Guard, and although these families live in civilian communities rather than military bases, the risk of children using alcohol and drugs was still elevated.1 According to Arndt, Iowa school systems should be aware that these children may need extra help.1
 Nature World News. “Children’s Risk Of Drug, Alcohol Abuse Higher In Military Families .” Nature World News. Nature World News, 29 Mar. 2013. Web. 8 Apr. 2013. <http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/1097/20130329/childrens-risk-drug-alcohol-abuse-higher-military-families.htm>.