Hundreds of thousands of teenagers’ lives blighted by parents’ drinking problems

The Children's Society has estimated there are 700,000 teenagers across the UK whose lives are being "damaged" by parents' alcohol abuse. (Philip Toscano/PA Wire)
The Children's Society has estimated there are 700,000 teenagers across the UK whose lives are being "damaged" by parents' alcohol abuse. (Philip Toscano/PA Wire)

HUNDREDS of thousands of teenagers’ lives are blighted by the drinking problems of their parents, a charity has warned.

The Children’s Society has estimated there are 700,000 teenagers across the UK whose lives are being “damaged” by parents’ alcohol abuse

A survey of 3,000 families with children aged 10 to 17 found 12% of parents had a recent history with a drinking problem.

For three in five of these youngsters (59%) the same parent is also suffering from depression or anxiety, it added.

The charity said that many teens are facing problems that would “floor” adults.

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It said pressures on teenagers living in homes where alcohol or drugs are being misused can lead to mental health problems.

Such issues have also been linked to being excluded from school or running away from home, the charity added.

Following the survey, the charity has also calculated that 1.6 million teenagers have a parent with depression or anxiety and 1.7 million teenagers are living in homes struggling with problem debt.

“Millions of teenagers in the UK are suffering in silence with problems that would floor an adult,” said Matthew Reed, chief executive of The Children’s Society.

“The hundreds of thousands of children whose parent has a drinking problem are sadly just the tip of the iceberg of children in desperate need of support.

“At a time when demand for council children’s services is rising, severe funding cuts from central government are leaving more and more to deal with these huge problems alone.”

The charity has called on ministers to address the “funding gap” for local council’s children’s services.

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