Impact of Substance Abuse on Children
Prepared for the Arizona Annual Substance Abuse Conference
April 29th, 2009
• Clearly define drug endangerment of
• Discuss case examples of drug
• Understand Arizona reporting laws and
role of CPS
• Discuss community response and creation
of DEC Teams
What is a drug endangered child?
• A child experiencing neglect, physical,
emotional or sexual abuse that is attributed to
illicit drug use, drug trafficking (or sales), or
drug manufacture by caregivers.
Children at Risk
85% of states identify substance abuse as
one of the major problems in homes with
suspected maltreatment of children.
Primary Reasons for Child Abuse
#2. Better Reporting
#1. Substance Abuse
Source: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
The Big Picture
• One-third of abused children will one day
abuse their own children.
• Two-thirds of adults in drug treatment were
abused as children.
• $94 billion dollars is spent each year to treat
mental health and medical needs associated
with child maltreatment.
Family Cycle of Addiction
Children of addicted parents are the highest
risk group of children to become alcohol
and drug abusers due to both genetic and
family environment factors.
Kumpfer, K.L. (1999). Outcome measures of interventions in the study of children of substance-abusing
parents. Pediatrics. Supplement. 103 (5): 1128-1144
Psychosocial Risks for
Children of substance abusers…..
• Increased violent parental behavior
• Severe neglect
• Increased sexual abuse
• Emotional Abuse
• Lack of regard for safety
• Prenatal Drug Exposure/Medical Complications
• Developmental Delays
• Attachment Disorders
• Abuse – Physical / Sexual/ Emotional/ Neglect
• Violence – Domestic/Community
• Chaotic Home Environment/Multiple Homes
• Role Reversal: “Parentified Child”
• Previous law enforcement/CPS involvement
• Lack of Encouragement
• Lack of Support
• Lack of Discipline
• Lack of Guidance
EMOTIONAL & SOCIAL
CONSEQUENCES FOR CHILDREN
• DELINQUENCY • ISOLATION
• LEARNING • POOR PEER
• CRIMINAL • POVERTY
BEHAVIOR • ADDICTIONS
• HOMELESSNESS • POOR ANGER
• SHAME MGMT
• ATTACHMENT • CHAOTIC
related to High Risk Behavior
• Child has difficulty with relationships
• Child has personal characteristics which get them into
• Child has a history of negative life experiences
• Child has a relationship to drugs and/or alcohol
• Child has been exposed to psycho-social
• Child has conveyed threats of violence
• Life Long Health Problems
• Drug and Alcohol Abuse
• School “Drop outs”
• Financial Dependency
• Future Felons
• 5x greater chance of being incarcerated
What‟s inside of a drug house
• Drugs (accidental • Sexual abuse
overdose of kids) • Emotional abuse
• Syringes • Domestic violence
• Hazardous chemicals • Inappropriate sleeping
• Danger of fire conditions
• Lack of medical/dental
• Danger of explosion
• Glass smoking pipes • Pornographic material
• Accessible weapons • Lack of food, support,
• Booby traps discipline,
• Toxic fumes encouragement,
• Physical abuse guidance, grooming,
Dangers Related to Drug Use
Kitchen Counter on Microwave
Theories of Endangerment
• Dealing out of a house when children are present at the
• Showing up at a “Drug Deal” with children in the vehicle.
• Holding a baby while selling dope.
• Storing the drugs in the stroller with baby.
• Smoking Meth while children are present.
• Food contaminated with Drugs/Chemicals
• Accessibility: weapons, drugs, residue….
• Children being provided drugs
• Children testing positive for drugs when detained by CPS
• Children helping to sell drugs/stand guard, etc.
Effects on Children
• Ingestion of the raw drug or residue
• Inhalation of the smoke in a home with
• Absorption through the skin
HAZARDOUS LIFESTYLES: Users often live a lifestyle
“incompatible with a proper regard for human life”
• THIS WAS FOUND ON THE FLOOR LOADED
• Parent engages in conduct that renders the
parent incapable of caring for immediate or
ongoing needs of the child.
• Includes but is not limited to incapacity to
parent due to alcohol or other drug abuse.
• Continuously fails to provide care and
protection for the child.
• Does not provide for medical needs, clothing,
or shelter for child.
• Lack of Essential Food
• Inappropriate Sleeping
• Lack of Medical / Dental
• Lack of Supervision
• Lack of Grooming
Examples of Neglect
• Child has frequent cases of head lice which are
never adequately treated.
• Child abandoned for periods of time while
parents use drugs.
• Child left with unsafe caregivers.
• Child not provided with food, clothing, or a
• Drug paraphernalia litters the home.
• The child acts like a “little adult”.
LITTLE ADULTS VIDEO
found in filthy
Neglected or abused children are:
•50% more likely to be arrested as
•40% more likely to be arrested for a
violent crime as adults
•33% more likely to become
Source: US Department of Justice
• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
• Attachment Disorders
• Lower Self Esteem
Characteristic Concerns of Children
from Families of Addiction
• Feel responsible for parent‟s substance abuse and
other problems in the family
• Equate parental substance use with not being loved
• Feel angry with non-using parent
• Fear the addicted parent will get hurt or die
• Embarrassed by the parent‟s behavior
• Never know what to expect
• Sometimes want their parents to use
Emotional & Social
• Delinquency • Isolation
• School Problems • Poor Peer Relations
• School Absenteeism • Unemployment
• Criminal Behavior • Poverty
• Homelessness • Addictions
• Shame • Poor Anger Mgmt.
• Attachment Disorders • Chaotic Lifestyle
• Learning disabilities
• Repeated grades
• Preoccupation and/or tired
• Poor School Attendance
• Frequent change of schools
Determinants Affecting the Child’s Future
• The child‟s support system
• The mental and physical health of the child
• The child‟s „meaning making‟, „religion‟ or cultural beliefs
• Caregiver‟s understanding of the child‟s history & hope for the future
• Public Policy & community response
• Us - the professional systems that become part of the child‟s life
Identification of Victims--Reporting
• School Staff
• Extended Family
• Friend of Victim
• Anonymous Reporter
Who Must Report Abuse?
• Social workers
• Teachers and other school personnel
• Physicians and health care workers
• Mental health professionals
• Childcare providers
• Medical examiner/Coroner
• Law enforcement officers
Child Protection Team
• Social Services
• CPS worker
• Law enforcement
• Behavioral Health (mental health)
• School representative
Response to Child Abuse/Neglect
Report from community
Report from community
Report to various agencies
Report to PD
Report to PD Report to CPS
Report to CPS CPT referral
DEC forensic eval, Medical evaluation? Ancillary services
toxicology Emergent Non emergent as needed
Emergency room Physician
DEC comprehensive Schedule evaluation
Multi-Discipline Child Protective Team
• Review all referrals and active cases of child
abuse, child neglect, and child sexual abuse
• Identify resources for family/victim
• Make recommendations for a plan of action
• Provide periodic review for all cases
• Keep kids busy in healthy activities
• Adults in their lives (mentoring)
– INFORMATION CAN NOT BE A
STAND ALONE STRATEGY
• Violence Education
57,000 mentored youth surveyed:
98.4% stayed in school
85.25% did not use drugs
97.9% did not become a teen parent
98.2% did not join a gang
Who Benefits From Relationships?
•Secretarieswith nice bosses have less heart
disease than secretaries with non-nice bosses
•Lonely people are twice as likely to die of heart
attack than those with social support
Who Benefits From Relationships?
•Students with social support perform
better on academic examinations.
•Young people with social support are
less likely to use drugs.
To break the cycle of “child
abuse” caused by those
who manufacture, sell and
“Children See” Video
Rich Rosky, Coordinator
HIDTA Southwest Meth & Pharmaceutical Crimes Initiative