Is Substance Abuse Causing Children To Be Sexually Addicted?

Helen Keller
Helen Keller (Image via RottenTomatoes.com)

Lawrence W. Daly, MSc
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of overcoming it”
Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston (Image via RottenTomatoes.com)
With the death of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston two of the greatest entertainers in our lifetime, the question which rises to the top is are the children who have parents, guardians, siblings, relatives, peers, friends, being sexually assaulted because of the substance abuse which they are exposed to?

This question is being addressed by Fox News media expert, Bill O’Reilly. His complaint is the media does not have the fortitude to step forward and educate others about substance abuse and the sexual assaults which occur to the children. Further, he argues that substance abuse is a medical issue that needs to be addressed before someone ends up dead like Jackson and Houston.

O’Reilly wants individuals and organizations to step up to the plate and begin taking responsibility to educate others that the substance abuse is involved in the majority of the child sexual assaults which occur in the United States.

So let us look at some of the statistic which support O’Reilly’s position that substance abuse is involved in the majority of those children who are being sexually assaulted. According to Childhelp the following statistics deal with the percentage of those children who are sexually assaulted when substance abuse is utilized:

1.      One-third to two-thirds of child maltreatment cases involve substance use to some degree. 
2.      Children whose parent’s abuse alcohol and other drugs are three times more likely to be abused and more than four times more likely to be neglected than children from non-abusing families. 
3.    As many as two-thirds of the people in treatment for drug abuse reported being abused or neglected as children. 

The Front of the SAMHSA building at 1 Choke Ch...
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In supporting the hypothesis that children are three times more likely to be sexually assaulted when substance abuse is involved there is further research to support this statement. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration they report that 7.5 million children live with parents with an alcohol use disorder.

Some of the local, county, state and federal governments and non-profit organizations create manuals, quick guides, brochures and other related material to make specific points about a health issue which has become problematic. According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Quick Guide For Clinicians:
1.      Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse and neglect during childhood can increase a person’s risk of developing substance abuse disorders. Children of substance-abusing parents, in turn, are more likely to be abused or neglected, resulting in an intergenerational cycle.
2.      The reported cases of abused and neglected children increased from 1.4 million in 1986 to more than 3 million in 1997. Substance abuse was involved in more than 70 percent of these cases.
3.      Substance abuse severely complicates efforts by children’s protective service (CPS) agencies to protect children and rehabilitate families.

The media does not play a major role in educating society about the many substances and sexual abuse issues. This information is obtainable on the Internet or in some counseling offices. As O’Reilly was stressing to Matt Lauer and Fox and Friends, no one from the media or the acting/artist industry stepped forward to assist Whitney Houston with her drug problem. Lauer and others would argue that the responsibility is not those who have been successful in the media and acting industries. Further, that the relatives and friends of individuals who have a close relationship with a substance abuse addict have the responsibility to talk to and find help for individuals who are out of control.
O’Reilly’s second point is well taken and the above statistics and those below support that individuals who have a substance problem are more likely than not to sexually assault children. This finding is common sensical in that the level of intoxication brings about a euphoria which places the individual in a different mental state. This state contributes to the pathology where the individual safeguards are lowered. Their inhibitions are lowered and they believe their sexual desire is in the state of need. All of these factors contribute to individuals sexually assaulting children.
There are studies which demonstrate that when alcohol is involved the possibility that a child sexual assault will take place. According to Casa Palmera:
Latino Children Play Swing
Latino Children Play Swing (Photo credit: epSos.de)
Sexual assaults can take place in a number of different instances and can happen to many different people. Sexual assaults however, are far more likely to take place when alcohol abuse is involved. Alcohol reduces a person’s inhibitions; making things such as sexual assault seem acceptable. Even those who normally would not force sex on a woman or man may do so when under the influence.  
Society does not state or face the obvious that drug and alcohol addiction are a major problem in society. When they are present children are more likely to be sexually and physically assaulted. The possibility of the child being medically and physically harmed also increases.
Imagine being a 10 year old female child who is asleep in her bed and her father who is high on cocaine comes into her room and rapes her. Many things occur that night, but there are two possibilities that are rarely talked about. The child genitilia may have been torn during the sexual assaulted needing medical treatment and the child was exposed to a sexually transmitted disease and in need of immediate treatment. Who can the child turn to when she is in need of medical attention? Obviously the non-offending parent would have that responsibility, but generally they turn their backs to the child afraid they will lose their spouse. It is not that uncommon for the non-offending parent to take the side of the spouse and disregard the needs of the sexually assaulted child.
Adults with substance abuse issues don’t care about the punishment they give to children. In the addicts world they are hurting and therefore they want others to feel the pain in which they are feeling.
Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Elvis Presley and the many other icons in the recording industry were at one time idols to children. Their deaths should not go unnoticed. Those in society should be asking are there individuals that I know who need treatment, my help or my advice today. Don’t have the Lauer attitude where you believe that it isn’t the responsibility of a successful media individual to tell another successful artists that, “Hey, you look like hell, do you need help, are you doing something about it.” Moreover, the need to follow-up to ascertain if this person got help is probably more important than asking them what gives.
In the interview with Oprah and Whitney Houston it was obvious that Houston was high and slurring her words. Bottom line she looked like a mess. I wonder what advice Oprah gave to Houston if any.  If she did give advice to Houston than my hat is off to Oprah. If she didn’t give advice to Houston than shame on you Oprah.
O’Reilly has it right, child sexual assaults occur in over 70% when drugs or alcohol are involved. That is 1% too high. Let us as a society begin a new campaign to stop the drugs and alcohol and get healthy and to those who sexually assault children, may you be identified, apprehended, prosecuted and incarcerated for life.
Tomorrow, a new series begins on taking a look at some of the child sexual abuse industries leading organizations which assist children who have been sexually assaulted. This should be an exciting series as you will learn who in the United States are helping children who have tragically become child sexual assault victims.

Lawrence W. Daly
253-852-6702 B/P
253-852-6704 Fax
Kent, WA

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1 comment:

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