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Risk of mental disorders in children of parents with alcohol or heroin dependence: a controlled high-risk study.
European Addiction Research
Publication types: Journal Article Publication Status: ppublish
Aim: To assess the specific effect of alcohol dependence (AD) or heroin dependence (HD) in patients and their spouses on the risk of psychopathology in their 276 6.0- to 17.9- year-old children (mean 11.3 years). Methods: The sample included 101 offspring of patients with AD, 23 of patients with HD, and 152 of medical controls, as well as their 2 parents. Participants were assessed using semistructured diagnostic interviews and family history reports by psychologists blind to patient diagnoses. Results: Children of HD and AD patients had largely elevated rates of recurrent major depressive disorder. Children of HD patients were also at an increased risk for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and substance use disorders (SUD). There were interactions between SUD in the 2 parents to increase the risk of SUD in offspring. Conclusions: These results emphasize the need for prompt identification and treatment of these children and highlight the need to pay clinical attention not only to the patient, but also to the co-parent in order to optimize prevention in offspring.
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