Have you thought about how your drinking affects your relationship with your child and other loved ones?

We are supporting Alcohol Awareness Week, which starts today and is this year themed around alcohol and relationships.

Figures from the Children’s Commissioner for England have shown the link between excessive drinking and its effect on children in Torbay.

Data shows that:

  • for every 1,000 children aged up to one year old in Torbay, almost 40 live with a parent suffering with an alcohol or drug dependency.
  • For every 1,000 children aged up to four years old in Torbay, almost 45 are living with a parent suffering with an alcohol or drug dependency
  • For every 1,000 children up to the age of 17 in Torbay, 35 will be living with a parent with an alcohol or drug dependency.

This can lead to young people taking on extra responsibilities as they become carers for their parent.

Extra roles can include cooking, cleaning, shopping, paying bills and looking after younger siblings.

Councillor Jackie Stockman, Cabinet Member for Adults and Public Health, said: “We’re pleased to be supporting Alcohol Awareness Week this year. Most people are aware that drinking excessively can lead to serious health problems.

However, alcohol dependency can also affect the drinker’s relationships, particularly with their children, partners and other loved ones.

This week, I’d encourage people to think about drink – if you’re worried about your drinking and the burdens it may be placing on those around you, there are plenty of support services out there offering help so please make use of them.

You may be someone worried about a family member’s drinking – support is available for you too.”

Services in Torbay include:

Alcohol Change, which co-ordinates Alcohol Awareness Week, is asking people to start thinking about drinking by downloading its free Try Dry app which tracks units, calories and money saved when you cut down or cut out alcohol.

If you’re a child or young person worried about a parent’s drinking, Nacoa can help.

Festive season

Last year we were still subject to many lockdown restrictions but this year we’re not, so many people in the Bay will be looking to let their hair down and socialise more.

As we start to enter the party season, now is the perfect time to think about how to keep yourself safe while out and about and drinking:

  • Never leave your drink unattended, whether it’s alcoholic or not
  • Don’t accept a drink from someone you don’t know
  • Avoid drinking too much by sticking to the UK low risk drinking guidelines
  • Stick together with friends, and look out for each other
  • Alternate drinks with mocktails. Drinkaware has some tasty recipes.
  • Don’t drink and drive. It can kill and will slow down your reactions.
  • The DrinkAware website has tips on staying safe when drinking.

Please see our Public Health team’s Alcohol page for more information and further links.

News archive