A new study, from the drugs charity Addaction, has found that as many as a quarter of children have parents with drug or alcohol issues. That approximates to about 3.6m children and those growing up in such a household are six times more likely to develop similar problems themselves.
Of that number of 3.6m, the vast majority live with either a “hazardous” or a “dependant” drinker while about 350,000 reside with a parent who has a drug problem, and these households also account for the majority of inquiries into child abuse.
Addaction also looked at the measures that can be taken to help these problem families and, while criticising the cost and effectiveness of rehabilitation programmes and the lack of training amongst some social workers, the charity did feel that some measures could prove more effective.
These include sending a drug or alcohol worker into the home to work with the parent on their issues. Also, it mentioned its own Breaking the Cycle programme which looks after addicted parents and also makes sure that their children are fed and attend school.
The numbers given by Addaction seem massive, 3.6m children affected is a huge figure though it would be interesting to find out how they determine how a drinker is “hazardous” and who is “dependant”. What level of drinking does that involve?