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Parental advice

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Useful National Helpline Numbers

Parent Alcohol / Drug use


Our Bullying: Advice for Parents leaflet provides a useful introduction and guidance for parents with a link to further detail on the NSPCC website.

For information on prevention of bullying visit:


Useful National Helpline Numbers:

The following organisations offer support and information to parents and carers:

Parentline Plus helpline: 0808 800 2222 (Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 9.00 pm, Saturday 9.30 am to 5.00 pm, Sunday 10.00 am to 3.00 pm)

Kidscape helpline for parents: 08451 205204 (10.00 am to 4.00 pm)

Anti Bullying Campaign advice line for parents and children: 020 7378 1446 (9.30 am to 5.00 pm)

Advisory Centre for Education (advice for parents and children on all school matters): 0808 800 5793

Children's Legal Centre (free legal advice on all aspects of the law affecting children and young people): 0845 120 2948

Parent Alcohol / Drug use

There are strong links between drinking or drug use by parents and the emotional development and well-being of their children.

Over 1.8 million children in the UK are affected by drug and/or alcohol misuse by parents.

Drug or alcohol use is linked to problems including:

  • damage to relationships;
  • impact on family finances; and
  • not being able to provide a safe and stable environment for children or young people.

Drug or alcohol use does not automatically lead to harm but it does lead to an increased risk of harm.

Your children will be influenced by your behaviour - whether your answer to a problem or a crisis is to take a drink or some drugs,  things can progress to the stage that you are not taking the proper care of your children or protecting them. Think about what your behaviour says to your children. Children learn what they see and begin to think that alcohol or drugs are a solution to problems.

Often people start using drugs in a similar way to relieve stress and tension. No matter how careful you think you are, children and young people are often very aware of their parents’ behaviour. Both alcohol and drugs can affect your ability to look after your children and have serious effects on them as they grow up.

It is important that you talk to your partner or relative who could offer support to you and your children.  There is support available for children and young people to meet with others in similar circumstances. It is important that children and young people have a routine and the chance to do normal things like homework and socialising with friends. This is especially true if children or young people have to take on the role of caring for or being responsible for an adult.

If you think you or an adult in your household has a problem, then you need to seek advice or support.  Is your or their use of alcohol or other drugs affecting the following:

  • Relationships - has someone spoken to you about their concerns for you?
  • Work - have you been late, missed work or performed poorly as a result of your substance use?
  • Health- are you feeling unwell, having difficulty sleeping or needing to take something to make you feel better?
  • Have you come into conflict with the law - have you been drinking and driving, or arrested for possessing drugs?

These are signs that you should seek help. All of these things will affect your ability to look after your child.

Please contact the services below for guidance and support:

Addaction Herefordshire 01432 802487

Addaction Herefordshire offers information, advice and support for people with drug and alcohol issues. There is a young people’s service for those aged 11+. There are bases in Hereford, Ross-on-Wye and Leominster as well as outreach via partner organisations. They aim to support people to overcome their issues and develop the skills necessary to go on to live a fulfilling life in recovery. They also support the families of people with substance misuse issues.

Community Alcohol Service (CAS) 01432 357825

CAS offers advice, information, counselling and training on alcohol related issues.  They can also help with associated emotional, social and physical problems surrounding alcohol abuse.  To access the CAS service you will need to be referred by your GP.

National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA) 0800 358 3456 

NACOA provides information, advice and support for the estimated one million vulnerable children who live with an alcohol dependant parent and those who are concerned for their welfare.  They also offer a free and confidential helpline.