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Military Kids' Drug Use Increases When Parent Or Sibling Deploys


Drug use in the children of military families increases when someone in that family is deployed, according to a new study from the USC School of Social Work.

The study found that when a parent or sibling is on deployment, drug use among middle and high school students goes up.

The study's lead author, assistant professor Tamika Gilreath, said in a USC news release:

"The potential for strain and the trauma associated with multiple deployments in the past 10 years of war seem to be driving this. People need to be aware that these experiences have an impact."

The data for the study came from the California Healthy Kids Survey, which questions public school children about alcohol, tobacco, and drug use. The USC study used the responses of more than 14,000 seventh, ninth, and eleventh graders from schools in Southern California.

The USC study appears in this month's issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.