New Resource Book: Helping Children and Young People affected by addiction in the family

In Europe, 1 in every 10 children lives in a family where one or both of the parents is addicted to alcohol. Children in Europe today feel that the risk of addiction and mental and physical health in the family are ‘less good areas of their life’. For children of alcoholics, fear, lower self-confidence, and lower performance at school are often a reality, and in many cases accompanied by poverty and ill health and wellbeing. How can we understand and help?

In order to help alleviate this situation, the UK’s Children’s Society has released a new publication that is directly aimed at children and young people, as well as workers.

The booklet aims to offer an easy to understand guide for children and young people whose parents might be undergoing treatment for alcohol or drug use. Very often children and young people are confused and scared by the new situation in the family, and are struggling to understand their feelings and needs. Using a simple and understandable language, the booklet offers space for children to reflect on their feelings and channel a way to understand the family problem and its implications.

At the same time, the booklet allows workers to have access to resources and provide the best care for the children and young people. The second part of the booklet allows workers to understand the first part and learn how to interpret the answers given by the children and young people. It is clear that the worker will not be able to solve all the problems a child might have just through their work, but it is enough to make a difference by listening to child and paying attention to their needs.

The realities of children of alcoholics

It is not always easy to understand how it feels to spend a day in the life of children of alcoholics. During the international Children of Alcoholics Week 2016, we aimed to simplify this by illustrating it in cartoon form. Below, are four scenarios that describe the different roles, realities and struggles of children of alcoholics in Europe.

Author: Vasilka Lalevska

Photo Credit: Photo by Bahman Farzad (

Author: Vasilka Lalevska

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