You're not on your own and there is help out there for you if your parent or carer drinks too much

Lots of adults drink alcohol, but in some families the adult’s drinking can make things difficult at home and can cause problems and worries. We’ve spoken with children and young people whose parents or carers drink too much and they want you to know that you are not on your own and it is important for you to know that:

  • It's not your fault
  • You can't stop your parent or carers behaviour
  • There are people who understand and can help
  • If you're worried or need to talk to someone now, call ChildLine on 0800 1111 or visit their website.

'I hate that you don't understand how I feel when you drink' - young person

Support for you

Children and young people we have worked with told us that living with someone who drinks alcohol or uses drugs can be difficult and can affect how they think and feel. Acknowledging how you feel is important, so we have developed a series of feelings worksheets to help you think about what is happening at home, explore how it makes you think and feel and to consider ways to feel better. You can work through them on your own or with a supportive adult you trust.

Being aware of how your parent or carer's drinking affects you is very important, but many young people are afraid to speak out or show any emotion because of how others might react. It is important not to hide your feelings, or pretend everything is ok. You need to look after yourself and these well-being information sheets may help you find ways to do that. You can work through them on your own or with a supportive friend or adult you trust. 

Helpful contacts

Here are details of organisations that can provide you with further information and support:

  • Nacoa (Free Helpline 0800 358 3456) – The National Association for Children of Alcoholics provides information, advice and support for everyone affected by a parent’s drinking. Nacoa also runs online message boards which enable you to share your experiences with others.
  • Alateen (020 7593 2070) - Alateen is for teenage relatives and friends of alcoholics. Contact them to see if there are local meetings you can go to and meet other young people in a similar situation.
  • Childline ( Freephone 0800 1111) - You can talk to a counsellor at Childline 24 hours a day, every day of the year. You can send Childline an email or post on the message boards.