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Drugs and Alcohol

drug and alcohol abuse

Alcohol and Drug Use by Parents and Carers

  • Are you concerned about a parent’s or carer’s drinking?
  • Does it affect their mood or behaviour?
  • Do they become physically or mentally abusive?
  • Are you worried that a parent may be taking illegal or misusing prescription drugs?

You are not alone, well over 1.8 million children and young people in the UK are affected by alcohol and/or drug misuse by parents/carers.

Alcohol and other substances are very often used by people as a way to relax or cope with day to day life. It is sometimes difficult for someone to recognise when such use has moved from providing a support mechanism, to being seen as essential for basic functioning. Your parent/carer may not be aware of the impact of which their drinking or drug use is having on their own behaviour or their ability to interact with family or friends - they may not see that you are unhappy or struggling to cope.

This is not a reflection on you or how much your parent/carer cares about you; it is about how the alcohol or substance is affecting them. It can be hard for someone to admit they have a problem, even to those very close to them; however sympathetic you are, it may make no difference.

Your parent/carer’s drinking or substance use will be impacting on your life and your emotions. Everyone is different, we are all individuals and our situations at home will vary a lot; how you are responding to and coping with your parent/carer’s behaviour, may well be very personal to you, whether this is sadness, anger, frustration, loneliness, isolation or some other response. It is important however, not to forget that others are experiencing similar problems.

There is help available for you and for your parent/carer. If you are concerned, it is important that you seek advice or support – make the decision to change what is happening in your family!

NACO (The National Associaton for Children of Alcoholics) provides informaton and support for children and young people affected by parental alcohol problems.  Support is provided through a free, confidential telephone and email helpline, publications and their website   Telephone : 0117 924 8005    Email 

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