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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

ChildLine Calls Prompted by Parents' Drink and Drugs

Children are calling ChildLine, a hot-line for kids who have a problem, regarding their parent's drug and alcohol use. ChildLine receives phone calls from more than 100 children a week who are concerned about their parent's behaviours, the NSPCC reports. Two-thirds of the children who call about their parent's drinking habits, also report abuse; violence is often a terrible byproduct of parents who drink, creating an unhealthy environment for anyone in the household. Between January and March, 5,700 children had called, unfortunately the founder of the NSPCC, Esther Rantzen, reportedly told the BBC that many kids are afraid to call and report a problem at home. Ms Rantzen said: "These are the children that know our number and ring us, but what about the many, many thousands of children who aren't, alas, familiar with ChildLine's work and who might be fearful of ringing us?"

"I am, in a sense, imploring those people who work with children to be alert to the possibility that the silent, friendless child... may have trouble at home created by alcohol and drug problems". Growing up and around addiction has its effects on children in a number a ways, it seems that the most common problem that children of addicts develop are emotional problems - trouble in school or difficulty making friends for fear that people will find out that dad or mom have a problem. What's more, those children become susceptible to the urge to try the substances that their parents use, inevitably starting down their own road of addiction.

The chief executive of a charity called Drinkaware, said: "Lots of parents might be horrified to learn of the number of young people seeking help as a result of parental alcoholism, but the news should serve as a timely reminder that you don't have to be an alcoholic to have a direct impact on your children. Regularly drinking to excess in front of children will only normalise alcohol misuse but it's important this pattern within the family unit is broken to ensure young people grow up to have a healthy relationship with alcohol".

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