2.5 million children live with alcoholic parents

family law

As many as 2.5 million children live with alcoholic parents in the UK, MPs and peers have claimed.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Children of Alcoholics insists that such youngsters are more likely to consider suicide, develop eating disorders or develop alcohol problems of their own.  This week, the group launched a manifesto in the House of Commons in which they called for the government to better protect the “innocent victims of drink”. The number of children living in a house with an alcoholic is “Britain’s biggest secret scandal” the manifesto read.

Labour MP Liam Byrne is chair of the group. He said it was time for the UK to break the “cycle of alcoholism cascading down the generations”.

The All-Party group made ten demands of the government. These included the creation of a national strategy to deal with children of problem drinkers; an increase in the level of education available to young people on the subject; a reduction in the promotion of alcohol and the development of a plan to change public attitudes.

These proposals were supported by Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev Justin Welby. In the past he has talked publicly about the difficulties of living with an alcoholic parent. He described going through it as “one of the most disruptive experiences for any child and [it] leads frequently to longterm effects in one’s self-confidence”.

One thing he wished he had had during his difficult childhood was “the company of others who understood the issue” he explained.

Photo by normalityrelief via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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3 comments

keith - February 16, 2017 at 1:09pm

could this be yet another child/parents severance angle.
i can see Social workers and Adoption agencies rubbing their hands with the possibilities of mass removals.
justice campaign groups need to watch this very closely.

Stitchedup - February 17, 2017 at 5:52am

2.5 million sounds a lot. I wonder if this includes blokes that call in the village pub for a couple of pints a bag of peanuts after work? I mean, add all that up through the week and he’s probably having more than his recommended units!. Perhaps MPs should lead from the front and close all those bars in the houses of parliament and ban claiming alcohol on entertainment expenses?

stuart - February 17, 2017 at 11:46am

This is obviously complete statistical nonsense.
There are 11 million children in the UK – so this “statistic” suggests that more than one child in five is being cared for by “alcoholic” parent- ie a parent physically or psychologically dependent on alcohol. This is obviously not true. We live in a post truth era and perhaps the Parliamentary group have caught this bug from Trump’s America?
However take away the drama of the headline – I am sure the underlying message is correct. Too many adults drink too much – and do so in front of their children, which is not acceptable. But sensationalising headlines, and misrepresenting facts, undermines this important public health message.

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