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Film released by Action on Addiction to encourage young people with addicted parents to seek support

12 August 2015

Press Release

Action on Addiction has released a short film made by film-making charity Positive Images showing two young people dealing with their experience of having parents addicted to drugs and alcohol. The film hopes to encourage young people in a similar situation to talk to someone who can help them.

At least 1.3 million children are living with parents who misuse alcohol and drugs and these children are seven times more likely to develop problems themselves. Many are growing up in chaotic environments, but others may be living in households where addiction issues may not be obvious. Some may be physically and emotionally neglected, if not at serious risk of harm.

Emma Spiegler of Action on Addiction’s on-line service, COAP (Children of Addicted Parents) said, “Many young people whose parents are addicted to drugs, alcohol or both are carrying a real burden. They may feel ashamed, guilty and responsible, and many of them are reluctant to talk to anyone, even their friends about it.

"Keeping such a secret can have real adverse effects on a young person’s mental health. They may feel anxious and stressed, or may use drugs and alcohol themselves to try to deal with their experience. There is a real lack of media encouraging young people to seek support, so Action on Addiction was delighted to be approached by Positive Images to make this film."

Francesca/Christopher from Positive Images said, "We received funding from New Highway and Awards for All to make a film to help young people. We approached Action on Addiction to work with as we felt they had an excellent reputation of working with families affected by addiction and we knew there were few films which talk directly to young people affected by this issue."

"Although we used actual recordings of young peoples’ experiences of living with a parent who drank or took drugs, we wanted to used masks so young people watching could reflect their own emotions on the faces of the boy and girl. We hope that it will encourage young people to speak to someone who can help them as we heard from the young people that even just sharing their problem could be beneficial."

It is hoped that the film will be shared widely and that young people who are living in an environment where addiction is present, will be encouraged to approach someone - another family member, a friend, someone in school or even a doctor etc. who may be able to help in some way.

Notes to Editors:

For further information:
Amanda Thomson - Communications Manager, Action on Addiction
T: 0207 793 1011 or 07825 620138
About Action on Addiction
Action on Addiction works to find ever more effective ways of disarming addiction in individuals, families, communities and society as a whole.

In fulfilling this purpose the Charity works both directly and indirectly on behalf of its beneficiaries, uniquely spanning treatment and rehabilitation, support for families and children as well as prevention, research, professional education and advocacy. Action on Addiction is a national resource aiming not only to be a force for good, but a force for better.

One in three people suffers from an addiction. It breaks up families, damages communities and destroys lives. In some way it touches us all.

Action on Addiction has been helping people with addiction problems for over 30 years.  In January 2012 HRH The Duchess of Cambridge became patron of Action on Addiction.
Twitter - @actionaddiction & @COAP_tweets
‘Facebook – Action on Addiction
About Action on Addiction - For Families
The For Families team provides services working with children, parents, carers and friends of people living with addiction.

There are a number of ways we work with families – counselling services, family/carer support groups, residential family programmes for people affected by someone else’s substance misuse, training for professionals working with substance misusing families and through the unique M-PACT (Moving Parents and Children Together) programme.  M-PACT takes a ‘whole family’ approach, enabling children to talk about their experience of living with parental addiction.  Action on Addiction recently merged with COAP (Children of Addicted Parents & People) which provides an online forum for children of substance misusing parents, where they can receive advice from specially trained counsellors.

About Positive Images
The Positive Images charity provides supportive, therapeutic group work leading to the production of professional quality, insightful films.

They are committed to assisting positive change and greater understanding by enabling groups and individuals to have a voice and be seen.

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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