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Home > Experiences of children of drug users: implications for youth & community workers.

Hogan, Diane and Higgins, Louise (1997) Experiences of children of drug users: implications for youth & community workers. Irish Youth Work Scene , (20) , pp. 3-4.

This research was carried out in response to the growing concern about the risks to children and young people whose parents use drugs. The issue was thought to be of importance, given the escalating problem of opiate misuse in Ireland, particularly in the greater Dublin area. The authors emphasised that most previous research had concentrated on prenatal exposure of children to drug use, but they suggested that drug use by parents may also affect older children and their social environments. The present study focused on ten children aged between 6 and 11 years, each of whom had at least one opiate-dependent parent. Interviews were conducted with parents, key workers and, in six cases, with the childís teacher. The findings of the study suggested that while the children of drug users may be at risk for social and psychological problems, not all experienced them.

The authors stated that youth and community workers could help children to overcome such problems and avoid school drop-out by giving children the chance to communicate with a caring adult in a stable environment. The authors believed that such communication could give the children opportunities to improve their sense of self-worth.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Article
Drug Type
December 1997
Page Range
pp. 3-4
Irish Youth Work Press
Accession Number
HRB 659 (Available)

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