Research carried out by the Children’s Commissioner for England has prompted calls for additional help and support for the children of heavy drinkers. The report suggests that more than 90,000 babies in the UK live with one or more adults who suffer from a drinking problem.
The commission has called for the government to “pay as much attention” to these children and families as it currently does to those who misuse illegal drugs. Large numbers of vulnerable children currently receive little to no help from social services because alcoholic parents are deemed to be a lower risk than drug users. The government has said that its reforms will help to identify problem drinkers so additional support can be given.
Figures provided by the commission suggest that more than one fifth of the UK’s children – around 2.5 million – are currently living with a heavy drinker or alcoholic, defined as someone whose alcoholic intake could have harmful consequences for themselves and others.
Maggie Atkinson has said that the problem is “not taken as seriously” despite the fact that alcohol abuse by parents causes more harm every year than illegal drug use. She says action is urgently needed to prevent any more “lost childhoods” and insists that local authorities should receive training to identify alcoholic families sooner so they can be given more support.
The Office of the Children’s Commissioner has issued a report called “Silent Voices” which presents the need for support for children and young people affected by the alcohol abuse of a parent or guardian.
One heart-rending testimonial in the report is from a girl in Nottingham.
My brother, who is 10, says he wants to end it all, my mum also says she wants to die. She really needs to talk to someone but there is no-one? I am not getting any sleep. I am scared what I will find when I wake up or what might happen whilst I am sleeping.
The government is not the only entity that needs to implement additional measures to safeguard children. If you – or someone you know – is suffering from alcohol abuse it will affect your children and can put them in very real danger. Seek help with your alcohol problem now before your child becomes one of those with a lost childhood. For confidential and discreet advice on how to take the first steps, call Rehab Recovery today completely free from UK landlines on 0800 088 66 86.