At least one million children in the UK are living with alcoholic parents, with up to 3.6million people in Britain scarred by the drinking of one or both parents.
Latest research estimates that there are at least one million children living with an alcoholic parent, but the true number is believed to be much higher. But because drinking is very much “the norm”, social workers often turn a blind eye, or do not even realise the seriousness of what is going on.
If a social worker were to enter the home of a heroin user, action would be taken, but if they were to be drinking, this will not even be recorded.
Children who grow up with alcoholic parents bear emotional, mental and behavioural scars, with 55% of domestic violence incidents happening in alcoholic homes and alcohol being a factor in as much as 90% of child abuse cases. The NSPCC states that 1 in 4 cases of neglect that is reported to them involves a drinking parent.
Alcoholism affects the entire family, especially the children. Children of alcoholics are 4 times more likely to become an alcoholic and 50% more likely to marry an alcoholic.
The late Mo Mowlam, whose father was an alcoholic stated the “hidden suffering” of families is getting worse as the excessive drinking increases.
We need to be more aware of the signs and give these families, especially the children more help and understanding of the issues they face and for social workers, doctors and teachers to be given training to be able to notice the signs early on to perhaps break this dangerous cycle.
NACOA – 0800 358 3456