Divorce increases cocaine use

New research by the University of Chicago indicates that parental divorce leads to increased illicit drug use by their children.

The study of data collected between 1988 and 1992 by the US Department of Education showed that there was a strong and clear relationship between cocaine use and recent parental divorce.

Children from recently divorced single parent families were more likely than children from intact families to have consumed cocaine frequently.

These children from recently divorced families also more likely to be under the influence of cocaine whilst at school.

These children seek stonger illicit substances rather than weaker because a recent parental divorce causes increased emotional turmoil and stress in the child's life.

According to the researcher, the higher level of cocaine use amoung these teens of a recent divorce may reflect how upsetting and stressful an experience a parental divorce is.

(Source: Jeynes W.J. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, Vol 35, 2001)


This study reinforces the need for all illicit drug users to be provided with detoxification followed by comprehensive rehabilitation to a drug free state.

The underlying causes of drug use must be addressed by the rehabilitation for it to be successful.

Policies that maintain illicit drug use will NOT work.