Tag Archives: behavioral health

How Family Structure Relates to Substance Abuse

familybhIt has been documented throughout the years that children who grow up with a family history of substance abuse are more likely to develop a problem as well. How much of the blame is to be placed on genetics vs. learned social behaviors is a different story, though, and there is plenty of disagreement on which has the greater influence.

Now there is new research comparing the percentage of children who grow up in different types of family environments and have exposure to substance abuse problems. Taking information from the National Survey of Children’s Health, it was determined that children have less exposure to substance abuse and mental health issues in families that include both birth parents still married.

In cases where children lived with a divorced parent, single parent or step-parent, the percentage chance of their being exposed to behavioral health problems increased significantly. They were also more likely to need counseling themselves with these family histories present and changing family dynamics.

What the study wasn’t able to determine was whether the substance abuse or mental health problems were contributing factors in family shake-ups, or if the stress from difficult relationships contributed more to the behavioral health issues.

In any case, this is yet another indication of how much of an impact parents can have on the development of their children, whether good or bad. In the case of substance abuse prevention, parents should not expect schools or other groups to be responsible for the drug education of their kids – they need to take an active role in preventing addiction through open, honest communication and doing the best they can to provide stable environments for them.

Voice Awards Cap off Recovery Month

voiceawards2013The 2013 Voice Awards were held at Paramount Studios in Hollywood last week. Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the awards seek to honor community and entertainment leaders for giving a voice to behavioral health recovery.

This year director David O. Russell was presented with the career achievement award, who has been at the helm of many notable films including The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook.

Special recognition was also given to Patrick Kennedy, former U.S. Representative (Rhode Island), and author and lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.

In the documentary film category, awards were given to Running From Crazy, Of Two Minds and Bill W. Feature film awards went to The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Being Flynn and Silver Linings Playbook.

Other categories included television productions and awards were also given to community activists for their efforts to raise awareness and support for recovery.

SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. said, “It is more important than ever to raise our voices — through TV, film and other media – to proclaim that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, that treatment is effective and that people recover.”