Teens' lives blighted by parents' drinking

Empty wine bottles
Empty wine bottles
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Hundreds of thousands of teenagers’ lives are blighted by the drinking problems of their parents.

The Children’s Society estimates there are 700,000 teens 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 per cent of parents had recent drinking issues. For three in five of these youngsters the same parent also suffers depression or anxiety, it added.

The charity said many teens are facing problems that would “floor” adults and that living in homes where alcohol or drugs are 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.

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

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