Research Outline

Mothers of Children with Addiction


To provide a demographic and psychographic analysis of mothers seeking help for their addicted children, especially sons. The analysis will cover their age, income, education, number of children, marital status, goals and values, sources of information, challenges and pain points, and general objections to seeking help.

Early Findings

  • In the US, approximately 4 percent of the American adolescent population between the ages of 12 to 17 experience some form of a substance use disorder. This represents about 992,000 teens or 1 in 25 people within the age bracket.
  • Approximately 443,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17 had an alcohol use disorder in 2017, while 741,000 adolescents suffered from an illicit drug use disorder.
  • Native Hawaiian & other Pacific Islanders (NHOPI), American Indians, and African Americans are the top three ethnic groups suffering from drug abuse. As of 2014, 15.6 percent of NHOPIs, 14.9 percent of American Indians, and 12.4 percent of African Americans engage in some form of illicit drug abuse.
  • Mothers of addicts usually prefer to keep quiet about their son's condition because the society tends to see addiction as a moral failing. According to Canon, there's a degree of shame unconsciously directed at mothers whose kids suffer a form of addiction.
  • Mothers of addicts also tend to support their kids for much longer than other parents. This may be through direct cash gifts, loans, or rehab costs, a situation typically exacerbated by the child's inability to keep a job.