More than four million Australians know families where they believe children are not being properly cared for because of alcohol abuse, research reveals.
Salvation Army statistics, released today to mark Alcohol Awareness Week, show another 2.6 million people had experienced problems with family members in the past year because of their alcohol use.
The survey, done by Roy Morgan Research last month, reveals a shocking snapshot of life for millions of Australians affected by alcohol use and abuse by family members, friends and colleagues.
Almost two million people said alcohol use disrupted the daily life of someone in their family or extended family, while another 1.2 million said that spending money on alcohol meant there was less money for the rent or mortgage, bills, food and groceries for someone in their family.
Salvation Army WA spokesman Warren Palmer said almost 300 people presented every year at the Salvation Army's Bridge program seeking rehabilitation from their substance addiction.
"Each of these individuals has their own unique stories but what is consistent is the impact of their abuse on family, friends and sometimes children," he said.
"The carnage of broken relationships from alcohol abuse is significant and while it is a very difficult path back from addiction, we can as a community take a strong stand and avoid the debilitating impact of abuse by displaying responsible behaviours for our children."
Child and adolescent psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg said the social and emotional scars from alcohol abuse in families could last a lifetime. "The role of a parent is to provide their children with an environment where they feel safe, valued and cared for," he said.
"Parents who have issues with alcohol may find this difficult and as a result, the child suffers."Children from families where there are drinking issues may experience low self-esteem, behavioural issues, emotional problems, difficulty with social interaction and maintaining relationships with peers."
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