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The Role of Primary Care Providers

Children of alcoholic and other drug abusing parents often come to the pediatrician, adolescent health or other primary care provider with recurring and vague symptoms, such as fatigue, abdominal pain, or musculoskeletal complaints, which may be indicative of psychosomatic illness. In addition, they may suffer from accidental injury, verbal abuse, physical abuse or sexual abuse associated with parental drinking or drug use. Poor communication, permissiveness, under-socialization, neglect and violence-all potentially devastating-are common in children who live in alcoholic families. Primary health practitioners can help reduce or prevent alcohol and other drug related impairment by providing education, identifying affected youth and families and by initiating early intervention.

Pediatricians, adolescent medicine specialists, family practitioners and others can act as important advocates for appropriate community and school-based prevention approaches and in educating patients and parent, ensuring that local programs and culturally relevant and appropriate for the various communities and populations they serve.

-Hoover Adger, Jr., MD

The Role of the Primary Care Physician

By Hoover Adger, Jr., MD, MPH, MBA

The physician can let the COA know that help is available.

RESOURCES FOR PRIMARY CARE PROVIDERS

Core Competencies for Involvement of Health Care Providers in the Care of Children and Adolescents in Families Affected by Substance Abuse

These materials have as a base the Core Competencies for Involvement of Health Care Providers in the Care of Children and Adolescents in Families Affected by Substance Abuse, published as a supplement to Pediatrics.

Guide for Health Care Professionals

A kit, based on the Core Competencies Level One was developed for primary care office-based providers by a team of pediatricians, family practitioners and adolescent medicine specialists to facilitate asking a simple question to help impacted children and accompanying parents identify alcohol or drug problems in the home and receive help. The Guide for Health Care Professionals is a Kit which includes the Algorithm for a simple question to ask on any office visit -- can be asked whether a parent is present or not.

A kit, based on the Core Competencies Level One was developed for primary care office-based providers by a team of pediatricians, family practitioners and adolescent medicine specialists to facilitate asking a simple question to help impacted children and accompanying parents identify alcohol or drug problems in the home and receive help. The Guide for Health Care Professionals is a Kit which includes the Algorithm for a simple question to ask on any office visit -- can be asked whether a parent is present or not.

Alcohol Use Disorders in Adolescents

Alcohol Use Disorders in Adolescents published (2013) in Pediatrics in Review

"Alcohol is the drug of choice among youth, with 12% of 8th-graders, 22% of 10th graders, and 29% of 12th-graders reporting heavy episodic drinking. Although prevalence rates are at historic lows, alcohol use continues to be widespread among adolescents, and pediatricians must screen for underage and family alcohol use in health assessment visits."

The Health and Social Impact of Growing Up With Alcohol Abuse and Related Adverse Childhood Experiences: The Human and Economic Costs of the Status Quo

Recognizing the interrelationship of growing up in a family with addiction and other serious adverse childhood experiences that create chronic emotional stress for developing children, this paper was commissioned to accompany Dr. Robert Anda’s presentation at Washington DC Children’s Forum, sponsored by NACoA. Dr. Anda is the co-Principal Investigator of the CDC's Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study and a member of NACoA's Board of Advisers. Additional published articles further delineating the serious consequences of ACEs for children can be found at the CDC's ACE Study site

Recognizing the interrelationship of growing up in a family with addiction and other serious adverse childhood experiences that create chronic emotional stress for developing children, this paper was commissioned to accompany Dr. Robert Anda’s presentation at Washington DC Children’s Forum, sponsored by NACoA. Dr. Anda is the co-Principal Investigator of the CDC's Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study and a member of NACoA's Board of Advisers.

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Screening, Early Identification, and Office-based Intervention With Children and Youth Living in Substance-abusing Families

By Mark J. Werner, MD, Alain Joffe, MD, MPH , and Antonnette V. Graham, PhD, MSW, RN

FAMILIES AFFECTED BY PARENTAL SUBSTANCE USE

Vincent C. Smith, Celeste R. Wilson, COMMITTEE ON SUBSTANCE USE AND PREVENTION

Prevention and Intervention Strategies With Children of Alcoholics

By James G. Emshoff, PhD and Ann W. Price, MA

TURN THE TIDE
THE SURGEON GENERAL’S CALL

In August, 2016 the U.S. Surgeon General, Vivek H. Murthy, sent a personal letter to more than 2.3 million health care practitioners and public health leaders. He is seeking assistance from the medical community to address the prescription opioid crisis.