The Impact of Parental Substance Use Disorders


Throughout the United States, unprecedented numbers of children experience parental substance use, even though substance-related disorders can have a devastating effect on the family system. The composition of the family in the United States has become increasingly diverse and complex, ranging from traditional nuclear families to blended families, single-parent families, foster families, multi-racial families, LBGT families, and multigenerational families. In fact, because there is no finite or static definition of family, when one person uses substances, the effects may differ from one family to the next. This course is designed for all entry and intermediate level professionals who work with children and their families affected by substance use disorders. Throughout this course, you will examine case studies so that you can apply and consolidate the knowledge you gain. You will learn how to better inform your practice by identifying characteristic patterns of interaction among family members, recognizing the impact of substance use on the biopsychosocial functioning of each family member, and shrewdly employing treatment guidelines using evidenced-based interventions to address the dynamics in families living with substance use. DSM™ and DSM-5™ are registered trademarks of the American Psychiatric Association. The American Psychiatric Association is not affiliated with nor endorses this course. Note: In your county and state, the name of the organization that investigates and manages cases of child abusers might be called a different term. In this course, it is referred to as the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS).


Hours: 1.50


Certificates provided by accrediting body (0 Match)

Course Details

Course Code: REL-HHS-0-IPSUD
Hours: 1.5
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 7/31/2018
Learning Objectives:
Identify characteristic patterns of interaction within a family whose members misuse alcohol or illicit substances.
Evaluate how substance use impacts the three areas of social, biological, and emotional health for the user, as well as the affected child.
Describe three appropriate treatment interventions based on the age and role of the substance user.

Section 1: Introduction A. About This Course B. Learning Objectives Section 2: Core Principles A. Myth Buster B. Meet Larry C. Knowledge Check D. Overview of Substance Use Disorders E. Types of Substance Use Disorders F. Prevalence and Incidence G. Identifying Patterns H. More about Identifying Patterns I. Practice J. Family Dynamics K. Meet Kim L. What Would You Do? M. Traumatic Separation Due to Parental Incarceration N. Accidental Death of a Parent Due to Substance Use O. Neglect and Abuse of Children P. Truancy Q. Practice R. Unhealthy Interactions among Family Members S. Learned Behaviors T. Home, School, and Neighborhood Moves U. Confused Expectations V. Legal Issues W. Review X. Summary Section 3: The Impact of Substance Use A. Neurological and Developmental Impairment B. Review C. Social, Emotional and Biological D. Co-Occurring Issues E. Substance Use Disorders and Child Maltreatment F. Substance Use Disorders and Domestic Violence G. Duty to Report H. Meet Casey I. Review J. Summary Section 4: Treatment Focus A. The Goal of Treatment B. Detoxification C. Commonly Used Integrated Treatment Interventions D. Behavioral Family Therapy E. Play Therapy F. Solution-Focused Therapy G. Brief Strategic Family Therapy H. Multidimensional Family Therapy I. Multisystemic Family Therapy J. Practice K. General Systems Theory L. Extended Family Systems Therapy M. Other Family Systems Techniques N. The Parent-Child Relationship O. The Partner Relationship P. Review Q. Other Evidence-Based Interventions R. Your Role with the Stages of Change S. Cognitive Behavior Therapy T. Other Types of Family Therapy U. Review V. A Word on Collaborating with Other Professionals W. Barriers to Treatment X. The Role of Cultural Competency and Diversity Y. Meet Roger Z. Summary Section 5: Conclusion A. Summary B. Congratulations

Staff Writer: Naju Madra, M.A.

Naju Madra, M.A. is an internal subject matter expert and clinical content writer for Relias' Behavioral Healthcare library. She earned her Master's degree in Psychology with specific study in neuropsychological assessment for children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. She brings with her a wealth of experience in clinical assessment, along with expertise in large-scale clinical research project management, recruitment, training, as well as in-person and web-based curriculum development.

In addition to scholarly activities such as writing manuals and preparing manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals, Ms. Madra has over 15 years of behavioral healthcare experience ranging from crisis counseling and job coaching for individuals with severe mental illness and co-occurring disorders, to community college instruction, and trauma specialist at the Veterans Health Administration. In her current role, Ms. Madra has contributed authorship to over 100 behavioral healthcare course offerings for both licensed and non-licensed professionals in the Health & Human Services market.

 Disclosure: Naju Madra, M.A. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Instructor: Donna Wilson, PhD, MSW, LCSW
Dr. Wilson is a psychologist at Manatee Glens Hospital and Addiction Center in the Psychology Department, the largest provider of mental health and substance use disorder services in the Manatee, Sarasota and Desota Counties region of Florida. Dr. Wilson has successfully managed and directed programs in behavioral health for 15 years. She has focused on unique populations and programs that make significant changes in systems of care and improved quality of life. She has provided direct services to patients hospitalized on the psychiatric and addiction units at St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has managed the Adult Department for Mental Health and Addiction Services in the Outpatient Program at Manatee Glens. Most recently, Dr. Wilson has managed the Adult Inpatient Psychiatric, Children’s Crisis Stabilization and Adult Crisis Stabilization units on the Hospital Campus at Manatee Glens as well as the Residential Addiction Center program. Dr. Wilson has managed her private practice well over 15 years where she has provided family, couples and individual therapy to diverse client populations in the Tampa Bay area. Dr. Wilson is also an Associate for the Women’s Addiction Services Leadership Institute sponsored by SAMHSA and Advocates for Human Potential.  Disclosure: Donna Wilson, PhD, MSW, LCSW has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: entry and intermediate level Marriage and Family Therapists; entry and intermediate level Nurses; entry and intermediate level Professional Counselors; entry and intermediate level Social Workers; entry level Psychologists; in the following settings: Health and Human Services; and the following practice categories: Addictions, General Nursing, Mental Health, Pain Management.
Relias Learning will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Relias Learning has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias Learning will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias Learning at
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous Distance Learning with interactivity which includes quizzes with questions/answers, and posttests.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Learning Customer Support by calling (800) 381-2321 or emailing