Substance use among families with young children

Families with substance use histories were found to disproportionately experience additional risk factors, many of which were evident at the time of a child’s birth and could provide opportunity for intervention. This project was part of a multi-method approach that included an environmental scan, interviews with parents who had substance use (include key findings of economic vulnerability, social isolation, trauma etc), quantitative analysis to test these findings, and included a Data Discovery & Design Thinking workshop to disseminate the findings. These families were also less likely to complete home visiting programs, and more likely to have children removed from their custody than families without substance use histories. Opportunities for expanded interventions for children identified as experiencing early risk are being explored as a result of this work, as well as a pilot project to support home visiting interventions immediately following parent’s release from substance use treatment centers. The ongoing use of an integrated data system for monitoring of substance use is under consideration at IDPH.

Primary Investigators

Betsy Richey

IDPH Lead and Contract Director

Cassandra Dorius, Heather Rouse, and Shawn Dorius

ISU Analysis Lead

Community Advisory Group Members
  • Kelly Davydov, Iowa Department of Human Rights

  • Gerd Clabaugh, IDPH

  • Janet Horras, IDPH State Home Visitation Director

  • DeAnn Decker, IDPH

  • Julie Jones, IDPH

  • Kevin Gabbert, IDPH

  • Monica Wilke-Brown, IDPH

  • Joe Caldwell, IDPH

  • Richard Nesselroad, IDPH

  • Bill Brand, IDHR

  • Lori Easterly, IDHR

  • Jay Hanson, Prairie Ridge Treatment Center

  • Becky Falck, SEIDA

  • Suzette Van Vark, SEIDA

  • Deb Shubat, SIEDA

  • Sarah Ziegenhorn, IHRC

  • Nick Sparr, IHRC

  • Tiffany Carter, IHRC

  • DAISEY home visiting records

  • Vital Statistics birth records

This work was supported by federal funding from the Center for Disease Control to the Iowa Department of Public Health for support of studying the impact of substance use on families and the Iowa State University College of Human Sciences to faculty investigators Cassandra Dorius, Heather Rouse, and Shawn Dorius.


Results and resources