Rise in drug and alcohol related reports An average of almost one contact every hour focused on drugs and alcohol last year

boyOver the last 3 years, 25,000 contacts to the NSPCC helpline raised concerns of substance abuse near children.

The number of contacts has increased by 16 per cent since 2013/14, with 8,500 people from across the UK contacting us last year.

It's an average of almost 1 contact every hour focusing on drugs and alcohol.

Some contacts have been judged so serious that we've made more than 20,000 referrals to external agencies, including the police and children's services.

Children of Alcoholics Week

The figures mark the start of Children of Alcoholics Week, which aims to raise awareness of the problems and suffering associated with parental alcohol problems.

Substance misuse is a significant risk for children and often leads to neglect and abuse.

Excessive alcohol consumption or use of drugs inevitably make it difficult for parents to deal with family life and often puts pressure on relationships.

Children’s feelings, their relationship with their parents and how they’re looked after are all affected. 

Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive said:
"Drug and alcohol abuse can have hugely damaging affects around children and it’s clearly troubling to see a rise over time in reports of this problem to our helpline.

"Substance misuse all too often leads to the neglect or abuse of a child and it’s absolutely crucial that we do all we can to stop that. The NSPCC provides services directly to families suffering from these problems to help them overcome them and provide their children with a safe and secure upbringing.

"But everyone has a duty to look out for potential signs of distress and the NSPCC’s helpline is there to provide help and support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."

Alcohol and drug addiction: support for parents

We work with parents battling alcohol and drug addiction and provide services aimed at supporting their recovery. 

Services provided include FEDUP (Family Environment: Drug Using Parents), which provides a safe, confidential space for children to express their feelings, while working with parents in 1-2-1 sessions to help them understand the effects of substance abuse.

Parents Under Pressure aims to support parents who are on a drug or alcohol treatment programme. Visiting them at home, the 20-week programme can help them keep their recovery on track and build their strengths as a parent.