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This is the Charity’s new blog providing insights into the addictions field. We hope you will find it interesting and thought provoking
In honour of Children of Alcoholic's Week: 10-16 February 2013
We’re in the middle of Children of Alcoholic’s week (beginning February 10th) and it is worth recording three things.
Firstly, the numbers of children growing up in households where parents either binge drink or worse is alarming. Research commissioned by Action on Addiction a few years ago from the National Addiction Centre indicated as many as 3.5 million children lived with this daily reality.
Secondly the impact of growing up with parental alcoholism can be both immediate and chronic (physical and sexual abuse and neglect) and long-lasting (a powerful determinant of adult psychological and emotional states affecting relationships and self-care). 34% of children in care are not at home for reasons related to parental substance misuse.
Thirdly, there are interventions to help children who currently live in these situations and to help adults who have found it difficult to resolve the issues arising from their childhood experience.
Action on Addiction’s division called Families Plus has developed a programme called Moving Parents and Children Together (M-PACT) to help children living with parents who have serious drug and alcohol problems. Repeated independent evaluations indicate the positive effects of the programme for the children, the parents and the family as whole. Uniquely the programme works with different families at the same time and with as many of each family as can attend. The programme is now being rolled out across the country.
A number of themes consistently emerge from one programme to the next delivered in different parts of the country. These include the isolation felt by the children; dawning realisation by parents that the children have known all along; the recognition that roles have reversed with the children often doing the caring; the poor communication and lack of understanding of addiction; the pervasive sense of shame.
It is more likely that children from already disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to come to the attention of social services but parental alcoholism is not restricted to one strata of society. The plight of these children is often referred to as “hidden harm” and we need to acknowledge that given the stigma, the harm being done to children in more affluent families as a result of parental relationships with alcohol may be more hidden from view.
Action on Addiction
Posted: 13/02/2013 09:44:27
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Action on Addiction is a company limited by guarantee registered in England |
Company Number 05947481 Registered Charity Number 1117988
Registered office: Action on Addiction, Head Office, East Knoyle, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP3 6BE