The rate of Substance Abuse among Children Experiencing Neglect in the US

The rate of Substance Abuse among Children Experiencing Neglect in the US

Substance abuse has been a significant problem in the US for decades. This has cut through generations as well as different groups of society in the country. According to Child Welfare Information,9 percent of the country's children population which stands at approximately 6 million face abuse in the form of physical, sexual, or emotional, and neglect. One of such key groups is children experiencing neglect.  Child neglect is the failure of a parent or guardian to provide care to a child, care in the form of food, adequate shelter, clothing, and other basic life needs. Children in left in these circumstances are vulnerable to drug and substance abuse, either as a getaway or as a means for their survival without parents. This paper will therefore solely on the rate of substance abuse among children experiencing neglect in the US.

Ninety percent of U.S. adults who suffer from chronic problematic use started smoking, drinking, or using other drugs before age 18 (Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 2015). This data points to substance abuse starting early in life and proceeds to the rest of the life of children facing neglect in the US. According to statistics from the National Center for Children in Poverty, a neglected, homeless child is at a significant risk of substance use. The majority of homeless youth on the streets use substances such as tobacco at 81 percent, alcohol 80 percent, or marijuana at 75 percent. Substance abuse, therefore, is a prevalent problem facing this group of people in society ( Fallon et al.,2015).

Neglected African American and white children are highly likely to indulge in the consumption and abuse of marijuana, which stands at 21 percent of neglected black and white children. On the other hand, neglected Asian and Hispanic children indulged more in alcohol than their white and African American counterparts (Christian & Committee, 2016).


There are some significant programs which currently exist to address the problem of substance abuse among children experiencing Neglect in US. These programs however separate, help in the ultimate goal of solving the problem. There are those programs which aim to address child neglect, just as there are those that specifically target to solve substance abuse among children and adolescents. To solve the problem of child neglect, some policy approaches have been put in place. These mainly focus on both the perpetrators of child abuse or neglect the majority of programmes focus on victims or perpetrators of child abuse and neglect (Kleinman, 2015). They not only aim to prevent this problem to happen but also offer a reform mechanism for those that have gone through or undergoing the same problem. One of such approaches is the Family Support Approaches. This seeks to provide appropriate training in parenthood and offer working models for family su

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