independent advocate reducing alcohol harm

71,000 “often felt afraid or unsafe as a result of parental drinking” during childhood

71,000 “often felt afraid or unsafe as a result of parental drinking” during childhood

Alcohol Action Ireland call on Government to examine extent of problem backed by Barnardos and ISPCC

“Fear and anxiety make bad childhood friends. The impact of parental alcohol problems are not just yesterday’s problems but today’s and tomorrow’s too.”

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues, today revealed that the equivalent of 71,000 Irish adults said they often felt afraid or unsafe during their childhood as a result of parental drinking.

The findings are the result of a nationally representative survey among 18 to 40-year-olds carried out by leading Irish market research firm Behaviour and Attitudes. It is the first time that adults in Ireland have been surveyed about their experiences of parental alcohol use during their childhood.

Alcohol Action Ireland CEO Fiona Ryan said: “Alcohol Action Ireland commissioned the survey on adults’ childhood experiences of parental drinking in order to gain an insight into the potential scale of the problem for children and families now – the impact of parental alcohol problems are not just yesterday’s problems but today’s and tomorrow’s too.

“This research provides only a glimpse into a problem. At the same time, the finding provides a case for the Government to initiate a comprehensive examination of the extent and impact of parental alcohol problems on children’s welfare and wellbeing and the services available to support children and families. The new national Combined Substance Misuse Strategy is another opportunity to address the problem. Fear and anxiety make bad childhood friends.”

Alcohol Action Ireland’s call was supported by the country’s leading children’s charities – Barnardos and the ISPCC.

Dr Sarah Buckley, consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist in St Patrick’s hospital, said: “Parental alcohol misuse may interrupt a child’s normal development. Children whose parents abuse alcohol are at a higher risk of emotional, physical, psychological, social and educational difficulties. They are also at risk of being neglected and not having their needs met. It is important that we understand the extent of the problem in Ireland.”

Other survey findings showed that :
 • Social background did not appear to be a determining factor in whether someone often felt afraid or unsafe as a result of parental drinking during childhood

 • The equivalent of 90,000 adults said they had often witnessed drink-related parental conflict. The National Study of Domestic Abuse found that alcohol was identified as a potential trigger for abusive behaviour in one third of cases and one in four of the most severe cases alcohol was always involved.

Alcohol Action Ireland will be launching the survey findings and holding a seminar on the impact of parental alcohol problems on children in the Royal College of Physicians, Kildare Street at 11am on Wednesday 27 May – refreshments will be served from 10.30am. Dr Sarah Buckley will be speaking at the launch.

For more information contact:
Niamh in Alcohol Action Ireland on (01) 878 0610 or Fiona on 087 219 5723

Note to the Editor:

The Keeping It In The Family Survey

Alcohol Action Ireland commissioned Behaviour and Attitudes to conduct market research to gauge the prevalence of, and attitudes to, parental drinking among 18 to 40-year-olds. The survey data is drawn from Telebarometer, a nationally representative survey of 1,000 adults of which the 18-40 age group, 454, were specifically surveyed. Quotas are set on gender, age and region to ensure that the results correctly reflect the known demographics of the Republic of Ireland. Fieldwork was conducted from the 3rd to 15th April 2009.

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues

Alcohol Action Ireland is the national charity for alcohol-related issues in Ireland. We work with political decision-makers, charities, health officials and academics in Ireland and Europe to create awareness of alcohol-related harm and the impact this has on children, families, communities, individuals and businesses.

The Keeping It In The Family is aimed at raising awareness around the impact of parental alcohol problems on children in Ireland.

71,000 “often felt afraid or unsafe as a result of parental drinking” during childhood

71,000 “often felt afraid or unsafe as a result of parental drinking” during childhood

Alcohol Action Ireland call on Government to examine extent of problem backed by Barnardos and ISPCC

“Fear and anxiety make bad childhood friends. The impact of parental alcohol problems are not just yesterday’s problems but today’s and tomorrow’s too.”

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues, today revealed that the equivalent of 71,000 Irish adults said they often felt afraid or unsafe during their childhood as a result of parental drinking.

The findings are the result of a nationally representative survey among 18 to 40-year-olds carried out by leading Irish market research firm Behaviour and Attitudes. It is the first time that adults in Ireland have been surveyed about their experiences of parental alcohol use during their childhood.

Alcohol Action Ireland CEO Fiona Ryan said: “Alcohol Action Ireland commissioned the survey on adults’ childhood experiences of parental drinking in order to gain an insight into the potential scale of the problem for children and families now – the impact of parental alcohol problems are not just yesterday’s problems but today’s and tomorrow’s too.

“This research provides only a glimpse into a problem. At the same time, the finding provides a case for the Government to initiate a comprehensive examination of the extent and impact of parental alcohol problems on children’s welfare and wellbeing and the services available to support children and families. The new national Combined Substance Misuse Strategy is another opportunity to address the problem. Fear and anxiety make bad childhood friends.”

Alcohol Action Ireland’s call was supported by the country’s leading children’s charities – Barnardos and the ISPCC.

Dr Sarah Buckley, consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist in St Patrick’s hospital, said: “Parental alcohol misuse may interrupt a child’s normal development. Children whose parents abuse alcohol are at a higher risk of emotional, physical, psychological, social and educational difficulties. They are also at risk of being neglected and not having their needs met. It is important that we understand the extent of the problem in Ireland.”

Other survey findings showed that :
Ӣ Social background did not appear to be a determining factor in whether someone often felt afraid or unsafe as a result of parental drinking during childhood

Ӣ The equivalent of 90,000 adults said they had often witnessed drink-related parental conflict. The National Study of Domestic Abuse found that alcohol was identified as a potential trigger for abusive behaviour in one third of cases and one in four of the most severe cases alcohol was always involved.

Alcohol Action Ireland will be launching the survey findings and holding a seminar on the impact of parental alcohol problems on children in the Royal College of Physicians, Kildare Street at 11am on Wednesday 27 May – refreshments will be served from 10.30am. Dr Sarah Buckley will be speaking at the launch.

For more information contact:
Niamh in Alcohol Action Ireland on (01) 878 0610 or Fiona on 087 219 5723

Note to the Editor:

The Keeping It In The Family Survey

Alcohol Action Ireland commissioned Behaviour and Attitudes to conduct market research to gauge the prevalence of, and attitudes to, parental drinking among 18 to 40-year-olds. The survey data is drawn from Telebarometer, a nationally representative survey of 1,000 adults of which the 18-40 age group, 454, were specifically surveyed. Quotas are set on gender, age and region to ensure that the results correctly reflect the known demographics of the Republic of Ireland. Fieldwork was conducted from the 3rd to 15th April 2009.

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues

Alcohol Action Ireland is the national charity for alcohol-related issues in Ireland. We work with political decision-makers, charities, health officials and academics in Ireland and Europe to create awareness of alcohol-related harm and the impact this has on children, families, communities, individuals and businesses.

The Keeping It In The Family is aimed at raising awareness around the impact of parental alcohol problems on children in Ireland.