National recovery charity Swanswell has urged the government to do more to help carers of people affected by alcohol and drug misuse.

With an estimated 1.5 million children in the UK living with a parent who has an alcohol problem or drug dependency, Swanswell believe not enough support is offered to many of those ‘hidden’ by statistics.

Isolating & emotionally difficult

Swansell Chief Executive Debbie Bannigan said: “Carers often tell us how isolating and emotionally difficult it is to look after a loved one affected by alcohol or drug misuse, especially if they don’t know where to go for help.

“With at least a quarter of the UK’s carers looking after family or friends affected by drug misuse – and many more 'hidden' carers affected by someone’s alcohol misuse – we don’t think enough is being done on a national scale to support increasing numbers.”

Carers Week: Prepared to Care?

The campaign comes as part of Carers Week [10-16 June] which this year has the theme ‘Prepared to care?’ and will focus on how the current carer population is coping, how effectively Government is supporting the growing number of carers, and whether the wider population is prepared for future caring responsibilities.

According to the Carers Trust:

  • There are between 250,000 and 350,000 children of problem drug users in the UK today. That’s about one for every drug user
  • Between 780,000 and 1.3 million children in England are affected by parental alcohol problems
  • There are 2.6 million children living with a hazardous drinker
  • In Britain, 335,000 children live with a drug-dependant parent.

To find out more about Swanswell and the services it provides visit www.swanswell.org.