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News : Children of Alcoholics are Calling Helplines to Hear Bedtime Stories
London, UK, Feb 19, 2017 -- Children as young as five are ringing a helpline to hear bedtime stories because their alcoholic parents are too intoxicated.
Some of the youngsters call the counsellors at the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (Nacoa) so regularly their favourite story books are kept by the phones.
According to a parliamentary group there are 2.5 million children of alcoholics in the UK.
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Hilary Henrqiues, the Nocoa charity’s chief executive, said on one occasion a counsellor had to help a five-year-old girl call 999 when her drug and alcohol addicted mother had locked herself in the bathroom overnight.
When paramedics arrived they found the woman had died.
Another of their callers, a girl aged seven, rang while hiding from her drunk parents under her bed on Christmas day. She was cold, scared and had received no presents and wanted to hear a story about her imaginary friend – a dog called Bruce.
The helpline’s regular callers often request classic Disney tales, while the Horrid Henry books and Roald Dahl are also popular, Ms Henriques said.
‘The children like to hear a made-up story because this helps to get across the message that things can be different from the life they live at the moment, which is really the cornerstone of what we do – keep hope alive.’
As MPs brand the issue a ‘secret scandal’, Metro.co.uk have interviewed a leading Psychotherapist and addiction expert on the long-term impact of being raised by an alcohol dependent parent.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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