Third of children may be living with binge-drinking parents

Up to one-third of children in the UK live with at least one parent who binge-drinks, according to a study by charity Action on Addiction published today.

One million children live with an adult who has used illicit drugs within the past year, while 4% live in households where parents have both drink and mental health problems.

The study, revealing the highest known estimates of parental substance misuse in the UK, also shows that 3% of children in England alone live with a problem drinker who uses drugs.

Researchers compiled the figures based on secondary analysis of 5 household surveys.

Nick Barton, chief executive of Action on Addiction, said: “This new piece of research shows that more children are at risk than we had previously though and that potential harm is not limited to new users.”

Action on Addiction is providing a service aimed at supporting families experiencing the effects of parental substance misuse. Professionals will run assessments and reviews for up to eight families at any one time to help reduce the impact of abuse.

The latest findings follow a Home-Office funded study earlier this year that found newly-qualified social workers felt inadequately prepared to work with people with substance misuse problems.

Your views

Do you feel your training has adequately prepared you for working with parents with drink and drug problems? Go to Carespace

Related events

Working with Adults who Misuse Substances: Equipping frontline workers with key skills across Children’s and Families and Adults’ social care sectors
14 October 2009, London
Tel: 020 7347 3574

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