The Effects of Parental Substance Misuse on the Lives of Children and Young People

Abigail Isabella McLean

This literature review looks at the effects of parental substance misuse on the lives of children and young people. Particular attention is given to its effects on children’s educational attainment. While the findings in the literature are somewhat mixed, this review concludes with some tentative suggestions on the best way to provide help and support for children and families.
Parental Drug Misuse, Children Affected by Drug Misuse, Education, Young People
Key Points
  • Parental substance misuse has a range of negative outcomes for children
  • Educational attainment is an area that may be adversely affected by parental substance misuse but can also be an area for children to distance themselves from their parents by pushing themselves academically
  • Extra support for school work by providing both one-to-one and group sessions with children who struggle academically could be key to offsetting potentially negative educational outcomes
  • Being able to meet other children who are affected by parental substance misuse can help combat social exclusion