Responses to the needs of children of people who use drugs


Although not all drug use by a parent will impact on a child, it is recognised that for some children the effect of their parent’s drug use continues from their infancy into their adult lives, and for this reason it is appropriate to use a child development framework to identify issues of concern for children at varying ages and stages of their development.

This paper presents the main issues of concern for children according to their developmental stage. It then addresses various response options and review their effectiveness. This is followed by a presentation of specific case studies, looking at two responses adopted by EU countries and one initiative from the United Kingdom. The paper ends with a discussion of possible future developments, challenges and opportunities.

PDF files are made available as a convenience. In cases where the EMCDDA is not the originator of the document, please be aware that any PDFs available on this page may not be authoritative or there may be more recent versions available. While we make every effort to ensure that these files are definitive, before using or citing them, we recommend that you consult the publisher's website or contact the author(s) to check for more recent versions.

Additional information

This paper was commissioned by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) to provide background information to inform and contribute to the drafting of Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide.

This background paper was produced under contract CT.19.HEA.0076.1.0 and we are grateful for the valuable contribution of the author. The paper has been cited within Health and social responses to drug problems and is also being made available online for those who would like further information on the topic. However, the views, interpretations and conclusions set out in this publication are those of the author and are not necessarily those of the EMCDDA or its partners, any EU Member State or any agency or institution of the European Union.