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This Video is from BARNARDO’S PHAROS SERVICE -  "HIDDEN HARM" by Ursula Burke (2.41 mins) 

See the NSPCC page "Parents Who Misuse Substances: Learning From Serious Case Reviews" Here. 

Substance Using Parents 

2–3% of children in England and Wales have a parent with serious drug or alcohol problems. Almost two-thirds of drug-using women entering treatment are parents, but only half live with their children (Source: Best Beiginnings 2017).  
Substance misuse by a parent or carer is widely recognised as one of the factors that puts children more at risk of harm. The biggest risk posed to children is that parents, when under the influence of drugs or alcohol, are unable to keep their child safe (including overlay through co-sleeping and accidents caused through lack of supervision) (Source: NSPCC) 

RESOURCE: Read the Barnardos Policy and Practice Briefing Report : "Hidden Harm" Report (PDF) 

Ecstasy, LSD, Heroin, Cocaine, Crack, Magic Mushrooms, Crystal Meth 
Cannabis, Amphetamines, Methylphenidate (Ritalin), Pholcodine 
Tranquilisers, Some Painkillers, GHB, Ketamine 
According to NHS figures  
8.6% of adults and 20% of young adults (16-24) have used illegal drugs in the last year.  
3.1% of adults and 7.3% of young adults have used a class A drug in the last year. 
Over 15 per cent of teenagers live in homes where one or more parents reported moderate substance use problems. Around two per cent of parents reported serious alcohol or drug problems (Barnardos). 
Factors associated with vulnerability to drug use include:  
Having been in care,  
Having been homeless,  
Having truanted or been excluded from school,  
Involvement in crime
An estimated 1% of pregnant women are problem drug users and another 1% are problem drinkers (Hidden Harm
Heroin is the main drug of pregnant drug users but many use multiple drugs and alcohol. Cocaine (crack), amphetamines, benzodiazepines and cannabis are also common (Hall & van Teijlingen
During pregnancy, heroin dependence is usually managed by prescribing the safe substitute methadone on a dose that stabilises the condition and avoids injecting. Sudden detoxification (“cold turkey”) can be dangerous for the baby, especially in the third trimester when even mild maternal withdrawal is associated with fetal stress, fetal distress, and stillbirth. (NHS Evidence) 
It is important to note that using drugs does not in and of itself mean that an adult cannot parent their child effectively. However, problem drug use, often combined with mental health problems and poverty, increases the risk for : 
Child neglect and abuse 
Dangerously inadequate supervision 
Inadequate and unstable accommodation 
Toxic substances in the home 
Social isolation.  
( see: Hidden Harm) 
Up to 1.3 million children in the UK are affected by parental alcohol problems 
In a study of four London boroughs, almost two-thirds (62%) of all children subject to care proceedings had parents who misused substances. (The Childrens Society and Alcohol Concern 2010) 
Alcohol causes up to 22,000 deaths each year and 1,000 suicides (AHRSE, 2004). 
Around one third (360,000) of all domestic violence incidents are linked to alcohol misuse (DoH, 2004).  
Alcohol plays a part in 25-33% of known cases of child abuse (The Children's Society and Alcohol Concern 2010) 
Between 50 per cent and 90 per cent of families on social workers’ child care caseloads have parent(s) with drug, alcohol or mental health problem (Kearney, 2003).  
Half of those attending drug and alcohol services have mental health problems (AHRSE, 2004).  
Between 2 and 30 per cent of women drinking more than 56 units of alcohol per week may have babies with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. This equates to between 240 and 1,190 such cases per year in the UK (AHRSE Interim Analytical Report, 2003). 
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