Strategy Targets Drinking Parents

Children who see their parents or carers drink heavily are more likely to grow up with a drink problem themselves, a new campaign has warned. Health promotion specialist Ed Sipler said it was about telling parents they had a role to play and that help was there if they asked for it.

Studies have suggested two-thirds of 12-15-year-olds get most of their alcohol from parents. Posters will be displayed on bus shelters, supermarkets and in pubs.

The campaign is being run by the Eastern Drugs and Alcohol Co-ordination Team, Belfast Community Safety Partnership and members of three local drug and alcohol forums.

They said: “It is about recognising that parents often don’t find it easy to talk to their children about issues such as alcohol and that they may need help in learning how best to approach the topic. Parents who visit the website or who call EDACT will be able to find out details of a number of courses which are available such as Talking to your children about Tough Issues.”

Mr Sipler said: “When our kids were very young and we had concerns or needed support we could call on any number of people from health visitors to teachers, but when our kids become teenagers we often feel totally and completely lost and don’t know where to turn.

“The Tough Issues programme helps parents and carers to learn new skills so that they can communicate with their children about difficult topics such as alcohol with confidence.”