Hidden harm

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Great Britain. Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs
Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs
Date of publication
5 June 2003
Substance Misuse, Children and Young People
Social welfare
Material type

Download (2MB )

This report sets out the findings of an inquiry focusing on children in the UK with a parent whose drug use has serious negative consequences for themselves and those around them. The report sets out 48 recommendations and the following 6 key messages: 1) there are between 250,000 and 350,000 children of problem drug users in the UK - about 1 child for every problem drug user; 2) parental problem drug use causes serious harm to children at every age from conception to adulthood; 3) reducing the harm to children from parental problem drug use should become a main objective of policy and practice; 4) effective treatment of the parent can have major benefits for the child; 5) by working together, services can take many practical steps to protect and improve the health and well-being of affected children; and 6) the number of affected children is only likely to decrease when the number of problem drug users decreases.

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