The health and social care provider Turning Point has said alcohol misuse within families is an escalating concern in its new report "Bottling it up: the next generation". It says early screening and identification of families is needed urgently to prevent the ‘inter-generational cycle’ of alcohol misuse which blights the lives of children and undermines their chances of school and job success.
Up to 2.6 million children live with parents who drink at "hazardous" levels and around 700,000 children are thought to live with dependent drinkers. As covered in the Daily Express, pressure put on women to be "supermums" was adding to the chances of using alcohol as a coping mechanism. Turning Point said more than 5,000 people who used their alcohol treatment services last year were parents. See further reports from the Press Association and Children & Young People Now.
The report says children of parents who misuse alcohol are more at risk of depression, anxiety and increased anger. Turning Point also highlighted JRF research which found that children who see their parents drunk are twice as likely to get drunk themselves. Children living with drinking parents are also more likely to experiment at an early age with alcohol and drugs, increasing the risk of their own later life substance problems.
In the report Turning Point call on the Government to place a duty on Local Authorities to develop strategies that take into account the harms to family life and children's development. They also advocate the development of services which are more family focused and home-based, better liaison between adult and children's services, and more information available to help children with alcohol dependent parents. > > > > Read More