Most parents who drink alcohol or take drugs are able to safely care for and prioritise their children’s needs; however, it is important to recognise that children living with parents with problem alcohol or drug use can be at greater risk of harm or neglect.
Parental drug/alcohol misuse is strongly correlated with family conflict, and with domestic violence and abuse. The risk to children is magnified where both issues co-exist. Harm associated with parental alcohol misuse is not necessarily linked with the level of alcohol consumption. Binge or episodic drinking can cause as much harm as dependent use.
The risks posed to children from parental substance misuse include the following:
(ACMD: Hidden Harm Report 2003)
If you have concerns about the substance misuse of a parent/carer they can be referred for support from the Better Lives family service (formerly CASA). Contact them on 0203 317 7437.
For further information about the BL family service, or for any of the Better Lives substance misuse treatment services within Islington, please refer to the links on the right-hand-side of this page (to access the Better Lives service leaflets and the Better Lives treatment services map).
If you are worried about a child or young person who is misusing alcohol or drugs, or you are a young person and you would like some support to either stop taking drugs and alcohol or reducing use and the impact these have on your life then support is available from Islington Young People’s Drug and Alcohol Service (IYPDAS).
IYPDAS work with young people up to their 19th birthday and provides a range of targeted interventions with young people including treatment and care plans, group session and 1-1 work. We will meet with the young people and complete an assessment, then agree how we can work together to address the substance misuse concerns. We also provide training to professionals and advice to parents and carers.
To discuss a referral or talk to someone about getting support please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the TYS duty manager on 0207 527 2600.
If you think that a child/young person is in immediate danger you must ring the police on 999.
If you think that a child/young person whose parent/carer has drug and/or alcohol misuse problems is at risk you must make an immediate referral to Islington Children's Services Contact Team on 020 7527 7400 or (email): email@example.com
Additionally, contact Islington Children's Services Contact Team, 020 7527 7400, firstname.lastname@example.org for information and advice concerning children/young people whose parent/carer has drug and/or alcohol use problems.
Information and other resources to support commissioners, service providers and others providing alcohol and drug interventions.
Better Lives is an integrated drug and alcohol service delivered by Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with WDP and Humankind.
Find out everything you need to know about drugs, their effects and the law. Talk to Frank for facts, support and advice on drugs and alcohol today.
Information and support for the families of drug and alcohol users
Alcohol Change UK is a British charity and campaign group founded in 1984 whose aim is to reduce the harm caused by alcohol.
DrugWise promotes evidence-based information on drugs, alcohol and tobacco.