More than 800 Doncaster children 'negatively affected' by alcohol misuse of parent or carer

More than 800 Doncaster children could be ‘negatively affected’ by alcohol misuse by a parent or carer, a new report has estimated.

Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 12:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 12:21 pm
The impact of alcohol abuse on children within a household has been revealed

The figure comes from the new Community Safety Strategy where tackling alcohol and drug misuse is one of the council’s six main priorities in making the borough a safer place to work and live.

Public Health England estimates that 20 per cent of adults in England with alcohol dependence have children living in the household. If this figure is applied to the number of dependent drinkers in Doncaster, over 850 children could be negatively affected, the report said.

Public health bosses within DMBC said that the borough has ‘higher than national average’ rates of alcohol related hospital admissions, which in turn results in ‘significant demands’ on the hospital and creates a ‘major cost pressure’ on the NHS.

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In Doncaster, costs to the health economy is estimated to be around £17.2 million every year.

Bosses added there was ‘local evidence’ that alcohol abuse and subsequent hospital admissions have increased during the Covid-19 lockdowns. The council and partner agencies are said to have increased the use of ‘early intervention’ teams to try and support problem drinkers.

The action plan includes a strategy to develop and build the Doncaster recovery community and support the annual Recovery Games events as well as provide a ‘comprehensive, accessible, high quality’ drug and alcohol treatment service across the borough.

Rachael Long, crime and community safety theme manager at DMBC, said: “Reductions in peoples misuse of substances would significantly impact not only on crime and anti-social behaviour but would also lead to healthier relationships, more productive futures, improved individual wellbeing and better outcomes for children, families and communities.

“There is also an impact on economic cost to Doncaster from lost productivity and cost to health, social care and the criminal justice system.

“There is some local evidence that levels of alcohol consumption and referrals for alcohol treatment have increased during lockdown periods, and in response to this an alcohol early interventions team has been put in place, to support higher risk drinkers.

“As alcohol and drug misuse are often symptoms of complex underlying factors, Doncaster partner agencies support individuals to overcome stigma and embark on their own recovery journeys, to live substance misuse free lives.”