Fears over parental alcohol misuse


As many as 93,000 children in Scotland are being adversely affected by their parents' alcohol misuse, according to a charity.

The figure, which represents one in 10 Scottish children, comes after a new analysis of information from the Scottish government’s Scottish Health Surveys by charity CHILDREN 1st.

The charity, which runs the ParentLine Scotland service, has been running a summer campaign called Wish I Wasn’t Here aimed at highlighting the impact of alcohol-fuelled violence on children.

Since the campaign launched in June, ParentLine Scotland has taken 25 calls from people concerned that children may be subject to abuse, violence, neglect and emotional conflict as a direct result of their parents’ drinking.

Chief executive of CHILDREN 1st, Anne Houston, said: “The fact it’s estimated up to 93,000 children in Scotland – one in 10 of all children – may be bearing the brunt of our nation’s attitude to alcohol is shocking and should give us all cause for concern. 

“From our work with children to help them recover from the trauma of violence fuelled by alcohol misuse, we know that many children feel those negative effects for years, with some suffering from depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.

“Too many children are missing out on their childhoods because of their parents’ drinking and we all have a responsibility to stop this from happening.”

Marco Biagi, MSP for Edinburgh Central and a member of the Education and Sport Committee, added: “Key to addressing the issue is changing how we view, treat and consume alcohol. 

“The Scottish government has made tackling this problem a central objective, with changes to licensing, greater health support for problem drinkers and the high profile measure of introducing a minimum price for alcohol.”

Anyone with concerns about a child suffering abuse, neglect or violence as a result of an adult’s alcohol misuse can contact the free, confidential helpline, ParentLine Scotland on 08000 28 22 33 or email parentlinescotland@children1st.org.uk


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