These resources give a general picture of parental substance misuse with useful reports, facts and figures

Young female and mother talking in living room

General information, impact and reports

Estimates of alcohol dependence

PHE and the Department of Health commissioned the University of Sheffield to provide prevalence estimates of adult alcohol dependence and of the number of children living with alcohol dependent adults. These estimates of alcohol dependence (2017) have been published alongside the government policy paper ‘Improving Lives: helping workless families.' 

Information databases

Datasets which hold useful data about mortality, drug use and other relevant topics (2017).

Alcohol's impact on the economy

Economic questions are central to the formation of alcohol policies, such as the setting of alcohol taxes, licensing requirements and marketing regulations. In particular, arguments around income, employment and trade are regularly used by the alcohol industry to resist measures to discourage consumption and harm. Such arguments are premised on the assumption that a successful alcohol industry is beneficial to the UK economy. The Institute of Alcohol Studies' report on alcohol's impact on the economy (2017) critically examines that assumption.

Statistics on drugs misuse: England, 2017

This statistical report on drugs misuse by the NHS presents a range of information on drug use by adults and children drawn together from a variety of sources. It focuses on England only where possible although some statistics are only readily available at GB or UK level or for England and Wales combined. Some of this is new information whilst some has been published previously.

Hidden Harm: The impact of parental alcohol misuse

Factsheet about the impact of parental alcohol misuse produced by Alcohol Action Ireland (2016).  Children can often suffer in silence, and take the role of the adult in the family especially when younger siblings are involved, for instance by feeding them or putting them to bed. Sometimes children are neglected to the extent of experiencing physical, mental or sexual abuse. Whilst appropriate authorities are often made aware of severe cases of neglect, parents with less noticeable risky behaviours around alcohol can still affect children considerably. This article highlights the improvements that need to be made, such as urgent improvements to alcohol policy, changes to the prices and marketing of alcohol and the better identification of families at risk and their subsequent assessment and continued care.

Treating alcohol's impact on children and families (Australia)

Campaign by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) that aims to uncover the extent and effects of alcohol-related family and domestic violence in Australia. The Hidden Harm: Treating Alcohol’s Impact on Children and Families campaign calls for action to prevent alcohol-related family violence through encouraging cooperation and providing training and funding to alcohol and other drug services to implement family-centered practice. FARE seeks to protect children from alcohol advertising and sponsorship through instigating a government-led review of alcohol advertising regulation across all forms of media, and urges government to fund and develop a second National Fetal Alcohol Disorders Strategy from 2017-2018. FARE encourages a nationwide public education campaign on alcohol harms and harm reduction, and advocates for the reform of alcohol tax and the development of a funding-base for preventing alcohol harms.

Impact of living with mental health issues combined with drug and alcohol misuse

A report by Turning Point (2016) into the impact of living with mental health issues combined with drug and alcohol misuse. It relates to any severity of mental health, drug and alcohol problem.

This online article from Psychology Today discusses the impact of living with the presence of both a mental health and a substance-use disorder. 

Alcohol and other drugs: The roles and capabilities of social workers

The first-ever national document to outline how social workers should respond when working with someone with alcohol and drugs problems has been launched. Leading social work and health organisations joined forces with Manchester Metropolitan University to launch the guide to the roles and capabilities of social workers in relation to substance use (2015).

Guidelines to support people bereaved by alcohol or drugs

Researchers from the University of Bath's Department of Social & Policy Sciences with colleagues from the University of Stirling produced 'Bereaved through substance use' guidelines, a set of practice guidelines aimed at providing meaningful support to people who have lost a relative or friend to alcohol or drugs (2015). 

Practitioner toolkit: Getting it right for children and families affected by parental problem alcohol and drug use

Joanna Manning, our national lead for substance misuse, undertook a peer review of a practitioner toolkit (2015). The resource, published by NHS Lothian and its partner agencies, recognises that many different professionals and agencies are now involved in the care of children and families who are affected by parental substance use. Joanna’s review states the toolkit is: 'significant and of huge relevance to the range of practitioners it seeks to engage, support and develop.' She adds: 'There is a definite need for such a resource and I would welcome something similar in England.'

Why invest in support for families and carers affected by drugs and alcohol?

Adfam has produced the free Family support: Why Invest? pack for family support services, commissioners, funders and decision-makers. It sets out the key arguments in favour of family support and presents a convincing case for investment at the local level (2015).

Alcohol hidden harm toolkit

The Alcohol HIdden Harm toolkit is an essential resource to support managers, commissioners and practitioners involved in designing, assessing or improving Alcohol Hidden Harm services for children and families. It enables users to identify how best they can improve the design and delivery of their AHH Services (2014).

Statistics on alcohol and alcohol harm map (2011-2012)

Alcohol statistics from Alcohol Concern contain information on pricing, consumption, treatment, health and crime. The alcohol harm map shows the number of people drinking at unsafe levels, hospital admissions, costs and deaths across England.

Practical guide to early years work - drugs and alcohol

This substance misuse guide to early years work has been produced to help all early years practitioners respond confidently and effectively when parental drug or alcohol use is a cause for concern. Underpinned by national guidance documents, the guide covers the context of early years work, the effects of different substances, legal responsibilities, practice issues and drug/alcohol misuse amongst staff and co-workers (2010).

Assessing the impact of parental drug misuse: a toolkit for practitioners

Adult drug problems, children's needs (2006) aims to support practitioners in their work with families where parental drug misuse leads to concerns about children's welfare. It contains summaries of key messages for practitioners, tools and tips to support effective practice, and training and development activities and practice examples around the UK. It is aimed at all agencies that become involved with families of drug-using parents, including children's social workers, substance misuse workers, primary care and school staff, criminal justice agencies, obstetric and paediatric teams, substitute carers and voluntary and community service.