Children of Alcoholics


Fiona Bruce MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Alcohol Harm and Vice-Chair of the APPG for Children of Alcoholics, has welcomed this morning’s announcement by the Government of £6 million to help identify at-risk children more quickly, and provide them with rapid access to support and advice. It is estimated 200,000 children in England living with alcohol-dependent parents.
Following the announcement, Fiona Bruce MP said:
“This is great news for some of the most vulnerable children and families in this country, and I am delighted that the Government Health Ministers have listened to those of us in the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children of Alcoholics – of which I am Vice Chair – who have been calling for this for some time. The impact of alcohol-dependency is always much wider than the individual, and it can be the families who love the individual struggling with alcohol, who suffer most. It is important that in tackling addiction and similar health challenges, Government always carefully considers the ways in which family members and relationships can be affected – and that is exactly what this does. Linking up these estimated 200,000 children with the support and advice they need will be invaluable to so many of them. It another example of Theresa May tackling the burning injustices that affect the most vulnerable – such as these children.’
Last week in a Health debate in the House of Commons, Fiona Bruce MP, who regularly campaigns for more Government focus to tackle alcohol harm, said: ‘I now want to touch on the link between alcohol and cancer. Over recent years the Government have exhibited admirable leadership by introducing a range of tobacco control legislation, helping people to reduce smoking, and they are now doing similar work to tackle obesity. Those are both high cancer triggers, and I applaud the Government for that work. Perhaps less recognised is the fact that alcohol can also be a cause of cancer.​
‘As chair of the all-party parliamentary group on alcohol harm, I believe that this issue needs more attention from the Government, in the same way as they have looked at smoking and obesity. Indeed, consuming too much alcohol can increase the risk of at least seven types of cancer: bowel; breast; laryngeal, or cancer of the voicebox; liver; mouth; oesophageal, or cancer of the foodpipe; and pharyngeal, or cancer of the upper throat. Without being conscious about how much we drink, there is a risk that many people are drinking in a way that causes those cancers and that is preventable.
‘I ask the Government to do more to encourage people to drink responsibly to reduce cancer risks, as well as many other health risks. One way would be for the Government to help people better understand what 14 units a week, the amount in the chief medical officer’s guidelines, really means. I also ask the Government to meet me and the all-party group to discuss improving the labelling of low-alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks. That would do much to help change habits, promote responsible drinking and prevent cancer and other health risks that can come from drinking even slightly above the chief medical officer’s guidelines.’
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