Children of Alcoholics Week

One in five children live with a parent who drinks too much, charity claims

One in five children in the UK live with a parent who abuses alcohol, according to a national charity.

Nacoa – the National Association for the Children of Alcoholics – has been offering support and advice to anyone affected by their parent’s drinking for more than 30 years. And this week, the organisation is leading International Children of Alcoholics (COA) Week 2021 to raise awareness of the issue.

According to Nacoa, 2.6 million children living in Britain are affected by their parent’s drinking but many are too worried, frightened or embarrassed to talk about it to anyone else. A third of the children who call Nacoa’s helpline have told no one else about the issues they are struggling with at home.

This is often because they don’t want their parents to get into trouble, or they are scared they might be taken away from the family home.

Lockdown and restrictions put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19 have exacerbated problem drinking in many households and calls to the Nacoa helpline are up 40 per cent, with four times as many calls from 12 to 18-year-olds.

On Thursday, model and actress Elle Macpherson will deliver the keynote speech at this year’s David Stafford Memorial Lecture for COA Week. Others taking part in a round table discussion for the event include Nacoa ambassador Josh Connolly, TV personality Calum Best, whose football legend father struggled with alcoholism, Radio DJ Sophie K, and boxing pundit David Coldwell.

AlphaBiolabs provides alcohol testing services to organisations involved in the family justice system, as well as to workplaces and members of the public.  

Our work in this area means that we understand and value the importance of charities like NACOA. The AlphaBiolabs team donated £435 to the charity this month following a company incentive for employees to complete an internal staff survey.

Nacoa’s helpline number is 0800 358 3456 or children can email for support.

To find out more about AlphaBiolab’s alcohol testing services, which include breath, blood, nail clippings and hair strand analysis, call our friendly and knowledgeable Customer Services team 0333 600 1300 or email