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Children with alcoholic parents 'more at risk of depression'

Children living with parents with alcohol issues are more prone to depression, anxiety and increased anger.

Health and social care organisation Turning Point is calling for an increased focus on the early screening and identification of families to prevent the cycle of alcohol misuse continuing through generations.

An estimated 2.6 million children in England live with parents who are problem drinkers.

The Turning Point report Bottling It Up: The Next Generation showed more than a quarter of parents receiving treatment for alcohol abuse felt their drinking increased the risk of anti-social behaviour in their children and undermined their chances of academic and work success.

A separate countrywide poll by Turning Point found 77% of parents had allowed children under 16 in their care to drink alcohol.

A further 6% allowed children under 10 to consume alcohol.
"Early intervention is key in preventing a new generation of children at risk of experiencing poor mental health, drug and alcohol addictions, truancy and worse," said John Mallalieu, Director of Substance Misuse Services at Turning Point.

"We must end the intergenerational cycle that their alcohol misusing parents are leading them into by example. Where resources for action are scarce, it makes economic sense to integrate family and parenting specialists into existing treatment services to protect future generations from harm, and the need to access the specialist services their parents currently require."
Turning Point said alcohol misuse within the family is an "escalating and systemic problem" within families and describes the current information and support as "inadequate".