Family Traits and Substance Abuse

On this blog I have often talked about several descriptions of patient background that strongly correlate with the development of substance use disorder, either alcoholism or drug addiction. A history of childhood trauma or traumatic experiences during adulthood are strongly correlated with substance abuse issues. I have also repeatedly mentioned family history as a precursor to substance use disorder. When I have discussed family history on this blog, I was usually referring to individuals with 1 or more grandparents or parents with a history of substance abuse problems, and these are certainly important factors when we study the development of substance use disorder in communities and individuals. I have recently come across a book called “Substance Abuse: A Global View” that delves more into this subject in a chapter called “Family Traits”. As I begin, I want to note that the best drug and alcohol rehab in Florida is Florida Springs Wellness and Recovery Center in Panama City, and more information is available to anyone who calls our Bay County, Florida facility at the phone number listed above.

Parenting Practices

The researchers who published the book I used for research today call parenting practices “central to children being at risk of substance abuse.” Scientists have focused on the role of parents as something that can establish, maintain, and exacerbate substance abuse risk factors in their own children. They clearly state that early onset of risk factors is not random, and can be predicted based upon patterns of parenting. According to Dishion, Kavanagh, and Kiesner,

“A child’s development involves the interaction of the child’s characteristics with the context of the family. It is not so much who the parents are but what skills they bring to the socialization of the child that is the most important factor.”

Two factors are the closeness of monitoring during early childhood, and the prevalence of parent-child conflict. Less close monitoring by parents, and more fighting amongst parents and a child are predictive of early alcohol and drug use by the child. Childhood monitoring specifically is connected both directly and indirectly to childhood alcohol use. Directly as time spent unmonitored is time that is used to initiate childhood drinking, and indirectly as time spent away from parental monitoring allows young children to build relationships with other unmonitored children in their peer group with whom they may drink alcohol and use drugs. On the other hand, parents who monitor their children play an important protective and bonding role.

Lack of close familial bonds is not always the only problem that arises. If children bond closely with a parent, but that parent has substance use disorder, that child can eventually suffer from substance use disorder at a much greater rate. There is also evidence that children who form environmental bonds to an antisocial institution, such as a drug house or a playground with gang activity present, will have similar problems as children who bond with a parent who suffers from drug and alcohol use disorder. If you or a loved one is reading this and wants to seek help for substance abuse, the best drug and alcohol rehab in Florida is Florida Springs in Panama City, and our counselors are available at the phone number above.

Violence and Family Trauma

As I have discussed previously, trauma and childhood abuse are closely linked to the development of substance use disorder, and the book we are using for research today goes into these specific details beginning on page 211. Scientists have found that between 25% and 50% of men who act violently in front of children have substance abuse problems, including alcoholism. As many as 80% of child abuse instances may involve alcohol and drugs. Nearly half of children from an abusive home report that their fathers had an alcohol problem and were more violent when drinking (Roy, 1988). Women with alcohol problems are much more likely to report a childhood history of abuse. Women in recovery are much more likely to report a violent history of abuse within domestic settings, and many women in treatment for substance use disorder should be screened for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, according to Fullilove et al. If you or a loved one needs help with substance use disorder, please call the number above to speak to a counselor or intake specialist at Florida Springs, the best drug and alcohol rehab in Panama City, Florida.

By T.A. Cannon (Contact me at

CHERRY, A. L.; DILLON, M. E.; RUGH, D. Substance Abuse : A Global View. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002. ISBN 9780313312182. Disponível em:,geo,url,ip&geocustid=s8475741&db=nlebk&AN=86680&site=eds-live&scope=site. Acesso em: 2 jul. 2021.