National Alliance For Drug Endangered Children

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Substance Use Disorder and Recovery

Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center, Office of Head Start – 2020

This webpage explains substance use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol or drugs causes clinically significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home. It reports recent statistics show that up to 12% of children under 5 years old live with at least one parent with an alcohol or substance use disorder and that parental substance abuse can have negative effects on children and family functioning. The ability of Head Start programs to support families in recovery through providing families access to referrals for substance use treatment, mental health services, and parenting classes is noted, and links to relevant resources are provided. The resources address talking with families, promoting resilience, and intervening early.