FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jennifer de Vallance 2023956618
October 17, 2001
ONE IN FOUR CHILDREN AFFECTED BY
PARENTAL SUBSTANCE ABUSE New Government Initiative Launched for
Children of Substance Abusers
(Washington, D.C.)The Office of National Drug Control Policy's (ONDCP)
National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign today launched a multi-agency effort
to provide resources and support to children with substance-abusing parents
and help to adults in need. The initiative will address needs of children nationwide
who live in families where one or both parents are abusing drugs or alcohol
and was developed in partnership with the Health and Human Services' Substance
Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the National Association
for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA), and the Child Welfare League of America
Posters, brochures, and online materials are part of a targeted outreach effort
designed to assure children of substance abusers that they are not alone, while
guiding them to seek help and support. "This effort will give children of
substance abusers hope and help in what are often desperate circumstances," said
Edward H. Jurith, Acting Director of ONDCP. "We hope this campaign empowers
young people to seek out other trusted adults at their schools, places of worship,
and in their communities for emotional and academic support."
The campaign's materials include two posters that encourage children to talk
to supportive adults and a brochure, "It's Not Your Fault," created by NACoA.
A brochure developed by SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), "You
Can Help," is available for adult caretakers working with young people exposed
to substance-dependent parents or guardians. New ONDCP print advertising will
promote campaign resources and messages.
"Children of substance abusers are the highest risk group for future drug
and alcohol dependence and are more likely to suffer a variety of ills such
as depression and anxiety," said SAMHSA Acting Administrator Joseph H. Autry
III M.D. "We must reach out to these young people to help bring stability
and support to their lives. We can stop the vicious cycle of substance abuse
with the help of caring adults who listen and serve as positive role models."
The initiative also raises awareness and provides specific tools to help adult
influencers reach out to the children they care about. Adults are encouraged
to address issues of addiction, without stigmatizing or alienating family members.
"Sadly, one in four children under the age of 18 lives in a family with a
parent who drinks too much. Children living in these alcohol- or drug-dependent
environments are regularly confronted with denial, shame and silence about
their family experience," CSAT Director Westley Clark, M.D., J.D., MPH, said. "As
advocates for young people, teachers, coaches, guidance counselors, and members
of the faith community should become informed on issues related to drug and
alcohol use, prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery."
For free resources including the posters and the "You Can Help" and It's Not
Your Fault" brochures, call 18007882800 or e-mail.
For additional information, visit www.freevibe.com (for
kids) or www.theantidrug.com (for