"What's the Stats?"
Welcome to the first chapter in The Lost Boys series. Let's dive right into the good stuff.Statistics. What are the effects on American Society for growing up as a man without a father in this country? In Lost Boys there will be no reference to a man's race or political affiliation as that has no bearing on growing up without a father. In fact for myself politics and race were the last things on my mind growing up without a dad.
What I am going to do is start of with just one statistic and then drill down on that providing my personal opinion on the stat plus any anecdotal experience I might have had with that subject. There are so many stats and I will try to keep the information simple and easy to read as this is a blog and not a scientific piece. I want to relate and reach out to men not push them away with long boring paragraphs. Warning. I will swear and write in a common man's style as well . I am not trying to impress anyone with this stuff. I am hoping to help another like myself not feel so alone . I am 55 years old and have acquired some of this knowledge too late but I am also a believer of "it is never too late" So lets get the ugly stuff started so we can learn and build hope.
– The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, “Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse.”
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics. Survey on Child Health. Washington, DC, 1993.
– There is significantly more drug use among children who do not live with their mother and father.
Source: Hoffmann, John P. “The Community Context of Family Structure and Adolescent Drug Use.” Journal of Marriage and Family 64 (May 2002): 314-330.
" Father Factor in Drug and Alcohol Abuse – Researchers at Columbia University found that children living in two-parent household with a poor relationship with their father are 68% more likely to smoke, drink, or use drugs compared to all teens in two-parent households. Teens in single mother households are at a 30% higher risk than those in two-parent households. "
Source The Fatherless Generation
Why is it so high for us? This is one of the stats that hit home for me. I am two years and two months sober from alcohol right now as I write this. Alcohol was like a miracle for me as a young fatherless man. It was the gateway into society for me. It gave me courage to speak to more people especially women, it made me feel like I fit in and most of all it was an escape from the dawning reality that I was not like the rest of the boys. I had horrible words swirling in my head like "illegitimate" and the dreaded "bastard" . When I drank all those things faded and I became almost like a superman. I didn't want to face the reality of what my life was going to be like.I was strong and young yet I was alone. I wasn't wanted by my father and the pain was and is unbearable. The drinking lead me to other things like drugs and risky sexual behavior. I drank from the age of around 15 until I was 49. That is 34 years too long. The alcohol abuse took a toll on my life especially in the psychological side. I feel it held me back . It created a sort of Never Never Land where I could go and never grow up or accept responsibility. I look back now and feel a fool for wasting so much time partying. I realize now as a sober and rapidly maturing adult man , that I could have used that time to better myself . The problem is I didn't know any better. No one was there to guide me. My mother was simple , undereducated and not up to the task of guiding a man into his destiny.
Now 34 years later I am healing from the damage that alcohol abuse has caused my family and myself. I am part of those statistics. Are you ?