A new report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group has shone a light on how alcohol abusing parents are impacting their children.
Chaired by MP Liam Byrne, the investigation found that children of alcoholics are three times more likely to consider suicide and twice as likely to experience difficulties at school, compared to other children.
On top of this, these children are four times more likely to follow in their parents’ footsteps and become alcoholics themselves.
The report describes this as a:
“A cycle of alcoholism cascading down the generations.”
This news comes at the start of children of alcoholics week 2018, running from the 11th to the 17t of February.
It’s #COAWeek2018 raising awareness for children affected by parental alcohol misuse. Join in the conversation to break down stigma and let those struggling know that they are not alone. pic.twitter.com/hH8ZzxO1IR
— Nacoa 🔆 (@NacoaUK) 11 February 2018
The National Association for Children of Alcoholics released this audio file to give an insight into what it’s like to be the child of an alcoholic.
Following the release of the APPG’s report, Liam Bryne tweeted his thanks to those who had contacted him with their own accounts of life as a child of an alcoholic.
Thank you so so much to everyone who emailed today with painful, personal stories abt life as a child of an alcoholic. You’re not alone; it wasn’t you’re fault; and there’s help out there: @NacoaUK https://t.co/FlRSCWPbkv
— Liam (@LiamByrneMP) 11 February 2018
But what is being done to combat the effects of these parents’ alcohol misuse?
According to the APPG’s report, the condition of the support structures put in place to help these children is in a shocking condition.
Despite an increase in alcohol-related hospital admissions, no local authority is increasing their budget for substance abuse treatment programmes.
In fact, a third of the local authorities who provided data to the APPG showed they will actually be cutting their treatment budgets.
But Katherine Brown, the director of the Institute of Alcohol Studies, pointed out that local governments can’t be blamed directly.
“There is strong evidence of the need for a ministerial lead. Ultimately, things are falling down at the local level due to strain on budgets from central government.”
So unless the government is willing to provide more funding to local governments, there won’t be any change for these young people.
Feature image courtesy of Peter Fletcher.
PSA audio courtesy of National Association for Children of Alcoholics.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group’s report can be found here.
Sub-editing by Jane Bracher