The Effects of Parental Substance and Opioid Use: Parent and Provider Perspectives

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The Ohio State University

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As rates of opioid abuse and opioid overdose-related deaths have risen in the nation, the need for information to fight this epidemic has risen in tandem (Center for Disease Control [CDC]), 2018). In this thesis, the author attempts to further the general understanding of how parental opioid and substance abuse affects children. A secondary analysis was conducted on two sets of unpublished data, each related to the impact of parental opioid and substance abuse on children. The first data set included parent responses to a Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) from the Ohio START (Sobriety, Treatment, and Reducing Trauma) survey, and demographic information about the parent and child. The second data set was a transcription of seven focus groups in which Ohio Domestic Violence Network (ODVN) providers discussed questions about how they had seen opioid use affect children. The first data showed significant differences between some age groups and races in the sub-sets of the SDQ. However, none of the average results showed abnormal scores, total score nor sub-score. In the focus groups, three theme categories emerged: Child Maltreatment, Action over Children, and Behavior Changes. In conclusion, due to the differing aims of the original studies, a clear comparison between the data could not be made. Further research should be conducted with Ohio START data to address how parental opioid and substance abuse is affecting children; the sub-themes of intrafamilial human-trafficking and kinship care of a child as a result of parental opioid and substance abuse that emerged from the focus groups should also be investigated.



Parental Opioid Abuse, Parental Substance Abuse, Child Maltreatment, Opioid Epidemic