Alcohol Action Ireland | Time to share the burden with children affected by a parent’s drinking

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues, has called for the Government to examine the extent and impact of parental alcohol problems on children and to provide accessible, joined up services to children and families affected by a parent’s alcohol problems. Acting Director, Cliona Murphy, called for children and families to be put at the centre of the forthcoming National Substance Misuse Strategy.

Speaking following the release of a Health Research Board report – which identified the impact of parental drinking on children as one of a number of alcohol -related harms imposing “a serious burden” on society – Acting Director of Alcohol Action Ireland, Cliona Murphy, said its time to recognise the effects a parent’s drinking can have on their children.”

She said: “We know that an estimated 61,000 to 104,000 children are negatively affected by their parent’s drinking. Children depend on their parents for the basics, they need care and support, consistency and routines. When drinking gets in the way of parenting, parents can become unpredictable, home life disorganised and chaotic, and children’s lives become burdened with worry, anxiety and fear. ”

  Alcohol Action Ireland highlighted the effect of parental drinking on childhoods with our landmark survey Keeping it in the Family, the first ever Irish survey of the extent and impact of parental alcohol problems, launched this year. The nationally representative survey found that when parents drank:

71,000 18-40 year olds said they often felt afraid or unsafe during childhood

90,000 18-40 year olds said they often witnessed conflict between their parents

71,000 18-40 year olds said they often had to take responsibility for a parent or sibling

  “The Government announced earlier this year that it was to develop a National Substance Misuse Strategy to include alcohol and drugs. We would like children and families put at the centre of the Strategy, recognising the heavy and serious burden carried by many thousands of Irish children every day.”



For further information or comment contact:


Communication’s Officer, Jo Fox 087 995 0186


Acting Director, Cliona Murphy 087 219 5723


Alternatively contact our offices at (01) 878 0610