Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Children and Siblings of Deployed Troops Are at Greater Risk for Substance Abuse

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Children and Siblings of Deployed Troops Are at Greater Risk for Substance Abuse

Article excerpt

According to a blog on the US Navy Seals website, military deployments have varying impact on different family members. In children, the deployment of a parent or sibling to combat zones may cause separation anxiety, psychological and behavioral problems, even substance abuse.

According to a team of researchers at the University of Southern California's School of Social Work, children and siblings of deployed service members are more likely to use alcohol, tobacco, and other illegal drugs. The researchers analyzed more than 14,000 responses from the 2011 California Healthy Kids Survey which was participated by 7th, 9th and 11th graders. They found that a high number of deployments were associated with a 14 percent increase in the likelihood of a lifetime of drug use, and an 18 percent increase in the likelihood for recent drug use.

"The potential for strain and the trauma associated with multiple deployments in the past 10 years of war seem to be driving this. …

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