Help needed for substance-abusing parents, charity boss says

Parents who regularly abuse alcohol and drugs must be offered help to ensure their children are safe, according to a service manager at ChildLine.

Susan Dobson's claims come after the child support charity revealed that the number of young people getting in touch to raise concerns about their parents' drug and drink habits more than doubled in 2013.

In response to the figures, the government in Scotland, where almost 1,000 calls were made, said that educating young people about the dangers of domestic substance abuse is also vitally important, reports.

Ms Dobson was quoted by as saying: "It's heart-breaking that so many young people struggle alone because they do not know where to go for help or are unsure of what might happen if they speak to someone.

"However, both they and their parents are in danger of suffering physical and psychological harm. So it's vital that the parents are offered help, and that these children get the protection they need and don't have to suffer in silence."

According to the organisation's latest report, almost three-quarters of the young people who called looking for help in 2013 were under the age of 15, despite the fact that its services are available to anyone up to the age of 19.