A substantial body of literature over the last two decades indicates a recurring trend within the lives of our children, that speaks to somewhere between 1 in 6 or 7 children continue to suffer the unnecessary impact of alcohol related harms and experience a life conditioned by someone else’s choices.
Given the prolonged historical trend in alcohol consumption that accelerated from the late 1970’s, spiking in the early 2000s, it is reasonable to extrapolate that there is a cohort of Adults today who experienced significant alcohol related harms as children, and who,continue to carry the effects of such trauma. Our population of those under 49 (born 1970) and over 18, stands at just over 2 million, so adopting the 2009 indicator – 1 in 7 finding, it can be assessed that 286,000 adults today face the challenges of overcoming their personal trauma alone.
Taking an over 50 but under 75 cohort, a population of 1.182 million, and applying the 2010 data – 1 in 10 (mindful of then lower consumption data), this impacted group grows by a further 118,000.
This would indicate that approximately 400,000 people in Ireland today are Adult Children from Alcohol impacted families.
In the current reality and adopting the 2018 data – 1 in 6 finding, it is likely that over 200,000 children, today, are living with the traumatic circumstances of a childhood arrested by alcohol related harms and within families where parental alcohol misuse is a frequent event.
These Adult Children of our immediate past and the Children impacted today, are largely voiceless in our society, hidden behind a wall of stigma and isolation, unsure of their hopes and uncertain of their futures.
In recognition of this reality, and the challenges this vulnerable group of people face, Alcohol Action Ireland have commenced a new initiative called ‘Silent Voices’.
Fergal Keane OBE, BBC Africa editor, and author, is the Honorary Patron of the Silent Voice initiative.
Many thanks for your interest in Silent Voices – an Alcohol Action Ireland initiative to end the silence of the impact of parental alcohol misuse in Ireland.
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ending the silence on the impact of parental alcohol misuse