Thousands of Teenagers Suffer Due to Alcoholic Parents

Published On: November 21, 2017

Shockingly, in the United Kingdom, hundreds of thousands of children and teenagers are affected by their parent’s alcohol abuse. This warning has been issued by the Children’s Society. 

Incredibly, the Children’s Society claims around 700,000 teens across the country are negatively affected in this way.

The Children’s Society arrived at these shocking sums by carrying out a nationwide survey. The survey questioned 3,000 families. All of these families involved had children agreed between 10 and 17.

The survey reveals around 12% of parent admit to suffering from a drinking problem.

Josh Connelly: A Case Study

One person who took the survey was Josh Connelly. Josh is now 30 years old and Josh admits that he developed alcoholism because of the trauma he suffered at the hands of an alcoholic father. 

Josh’s father died when Josh was only nine years old. Josh sought out alcohol addiction treatment, and he is now living his life in recovery. However, Josh says he continues to suffer when he recalls memories linked to his father’s drinking.

Josh recounts one of these memories when he says he recalls witnessing his father experiencing a fit.  At the time, his father was living in a bedsit.  His mother and father had split up by this time.

People suffering from alcoholism are known to suffer from a fit when they attempt to undergo an alcohol detox without medical support.

Josh told Rehab 4 Alcoholism: "I was kind of stuck in the bedsit for a little while.

"I don't really remember exactly what happened but my little brother was with me at the time and I know eventually the phone on the bedsit could take internal calls and my Mum rang and I said he was drunk.

"I still at this point wanted to protect my Mum, so I said 'Dad's drunk again, so pick us up out the front', so she picked us up out the front and we went home.

"More recently I've had conversations with my Mum – she kind of maintains that he didn't actually die then but he was dead within a couple of days of that incident.

"It's affected my adult life entirely, although I had no idea that it had."

By his late teens, Josh’s own drinking had gotten out of hand. Josh decided to stop drinking alcohol when he was 24 years old. However, he continued to struggle emotionally, and he even considered taking his own life.

Josh said: "I made a conscious intellectual decision as a 25-year-old man that this world would be better off without me."

Often, children of alcoholic parents blame themselves for their parent’s alcoholism. Josh echoed this reality when he spoke to Rehab 4 Alcoholism. We agree with Josh that more has to be done to prevent this guilt and a false sense of responsibility from arising in the first place.

Suffering from a range of mental health ailments

The Children’s Society says when a child lives in an environment where at least one parent is an alcoholic, the child is much more likely to develop a mental health problem.  The Children’s Society is critical of the Government and says the Government must invest more money into local councils who are responsible for child social services.

Matthew Reed, Chief Executive, said: "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."

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