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THURSDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- About 7.5 million American children under the age of 18 live with a parent who's struggled with alcohol abuse over the past year, a new government report finds.
That's equal to 10.5 percent of children across the country, say researchers at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which issued the report.
"The enormity of this public health problem goes well beyond these tragic numbers as studies have shown that the children of parents with untreated alcohol disorders are at far greater risk for developing alcohol and other problems later in their lives," SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde said in an agency news release.
According to the report, 6.1 million of children living with an alcohol-abusing parent live in two-parent households, while the remaining 1.4 million reside in single-parent homes where that parent has struggled with alcohol over the past 12 months. About 1.1 million children living in a single-parent home live with a mother; the remainder live with a father, the SAMHSA report said.
The report is based on data from SAMHSA's 2005-2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an annual survey involving 65,000 people nationwide aged 12 and older.
Hyde said that help is available for people with drinking problems, and her agency and other groups "are promoting programs that can help those with alcohol disorders find recovery not only for themselves, but for the sake of their children."
There's more on this issue at the National Association for Children of Alcoholics.