The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

Concerned others and professionals

When a parent has a drink problem, it affects the whole family, and can be especially difficult for children. Their parent's drinking can leave them feeling ashamed, embarrassed or confused.

A child of an alcoholic can be 1 or 101. Whatever their age, it doesn't change the fact that their parent, step-parent or carer is, or has been, dependent on alcohol, along with the problems this brings.

Often the problem is kept hidden and children can believe they are to blame. You can let them know they are not alone and it is not their fault. There are many people experiencing similar problems; there is hope and there is help.

Having as many sources of support as possible can help children and adults cope with their parent's drinking and the knock-on effects of growing up with parental alcoholism. Everyone can make a difference including parents, step-parents, carers, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and parents of friends, neighbours, teachers, counsellors, and professional or voluntary organisations.

These pages offer information and advice that we hope will help. Nacoa is here for children, adults, concerned others and professionals alike.

To find out more see Help & advice.

If you are child or young person concerned about a friend or relative whose parent has a drink problem, you may prefer to look at Children or Young people. It is great that they have a friend who cares; just being there and understanding can help.

You are not alone

Remember the Six "C"s

I didn't cause it I can't control it I can't cure it I can take care of myself I can communicate my feelings I can make healthy choices

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