A new report released by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) has revealed that more than one million Australian children are adversely affected by their parents or carers alcohol abuse.
We are all aware of the negative affects alcohol abuse can have on our own bodies and health; excessive consumption of alcohol can result in a number of longer term chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, liver disease, brain damage, mental health conditions and a range of cancers.
In addition, this research from FARE suggests that the secondary impacts for children can be just as harmful. Children growing up in environments where alcohol is regularly abused can suffer long term problems including a lack of success at school and social problems.
Life Education Intern Chris Planer, who has lived with alcohol addiction, spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald this week about his own personal journey with alcohol and how it affected his young family.
"With my children, I was there but I wasn't always attentive to them," he said. "I wasn't doing normal things like reading books to them or helping my oldest son with his homework… Kids might not be aware that you are abusing alcohol but they know there is something going on," he said.
Speaking to ABC news, Michael Thorn, chief executive of FARE, called for more work to be done in creating new policies to regulate alcohol, he said, ‘as a society we need to be doing all we can to reduce the incidence and severity of the harms… that means introducing population-wide policies that reduce the level of alcohol in our community’.
Equally as important, however, is the role we as adults, parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, carers, can play in the home. It is our responsibility to act as positive role models for children, providing space and time for open conversations with young people about alcohol and monitoring our own alcohol consumption around children.
At Life Education we believe that education is the key to helping children live safer and healthier lives. We partner with schools across the country to educate children around the dangers of alcohol so they are empowered to make considered and informed decisions when faced with alcohol related choices in the future.