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Special Feature – No. 04
No Child Left Behind
Protecting the Health and Rights of Children of Households with Alcohol Problems
That children have to grow up in homes affected by parental alcohol problems is an invisible and silent crisis – worldwide. As carers are affected by alcohol problems, they cannot provide shelter and often basic support, and also society is failing to protect and promote the health and rights of children of households with alcohol problems.
- In the United States, more than 10% of children grow up in a household with alcohol problems.
- In Europe, 9 million children grow up in households with alcohol problems.
- In Australia, ca. 1 million children live in households with at least one adult experiencing alcohol use disorder.
Evidence shows that even “normal” levels of parental alcohol use might trigger children to develop anxiety and/or depression in adolescence and early adulthood. Kids may be more likely to develop depression and anxiety when their parents are regular alcohol users, even when neither parent consumes so much alcohol to be considered having an alcohol use disorder.
- Children were 52% more likely to have anxiety or depression when both parents regularly consumed alcohol.
The WHO, UNODC and UNESCO list a number of risk factors for child health on the family level:
- parental substance use,
- parental mental ill-health,
- parental abuse and neglect, and
- material poverty.
The WHO, UNODC and UNESCO list a number of risk factors for child health on the community level:
- easy and wide availability of alcohol and other drugs,
- social norms permissive to substance use and detrimental to academic achievement, and
- lack of positive contact with other adults.
Alcohol fuels all these risk factors.
Brand new material
Download the brand new booklet: “No Child Left Behind: Protecting the Health and Rights of Children of Households with Alcohol Problems” (PDF).
It contains original artwork and a comprehensive overview of the harms children of households with alcohol problems are exposed to.
The Alcohol Issues Podcast
S2 E3: Alcohol’s Forgotten Social Harm: Children Growing Up In Households With Alcohol Problems
The products and practices of the alcohol industry cause a massive burden of harm. Some of this harm, however, receives more public and policy attention than other harms.
One of the most severe aspects of alcohol’s social harm is the impact that parental alcohol problems have on children. The severity of this harm is compounded by society’s disregard and even ignorance of the issue.
That is why we dive into an in-depth conversation with one of the leading organizations working to bring change and protect the health and rights of children of households with alcohol problems.
Host Maik Dünnbier talks with Dr. Piers Henriques, Head of Communications at Nacoa UK.
Host Maik Dünnbier welcomes Dr. Piers Henriques, Nacoa’s Head of Communications to the podcast. Piers has been around for the full 32 years of the Nacoa journey to protect and promote the health and rights of children growing up in households affected by alcohol problems. Among other things, he has created a worldwide community of organizations advancing this cause. And he’s also masterminding Nacoa’s ‘Widening Access’ programme.
- Maik Dünnbier is the Director of Strategy and Advocacy at Movendi International.
- Dr. Piers Henriques, Head of Communications, Nacoa UK