Opioid and Substance Use Disorder and Receipt of Treatment Among Parents Living With Children in the United States, 2015-2017

Ann Fam Med. 2019 May;17(3):207-211. doi: 10.1370/afm.2389.


Purpose: Little is known about the prevalence of opioid use disorder (OUD) among parents who are living with children and their receipt of treatment, which could reduce the harmful effects of OUD on families.

Methods: We used 2015-2017 cross-sectional national survey data to estimate prevalence and treatment of opioid use disorder and other substance use disorders (SUD) among parents living with children.

Results: An estimated 623,000 parents with opioid use disorder are living with children, and less than one-third of these parents received treatment for illicit drug or alcohol use at a specialty facility or doctor's office. Treatment rates were even lower among the more than 4,000,000 parents estimated to have other SUDs.

Conclusion: Many parents in both groups have concurrent mental health issues, including suicidal thoughts and behavior. Primary care practices can play a critical role in screening and facilitating treatment initiation.

Keywords: opioid use disorder; parents; substance use disorder; substance use treatment; treatment receipt.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / therapy
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Prevalence
  • United States / epidemiology