Action on Addiction has released a short film called Famlies Matter made by film-making charity Positive Images showing two young people dealing with their experience of having parents addicted to drugs and alcohol.
The film hopes to encourage young people in a similar situation to talk to someone who can help them.
At least 1.3 million children are living with parents who misuse alcohol and drugs and these children are seven times more likely to develop problems themselves. Many are growing up in chaotic environments, but others may be living in households where addiction issues may not be obvious. Some may be physically and emotionally neglected, if not at serious risk of harm.
Emma Spiegler of Action on Addiction’s on-line service, COAP (Children of Addicted Parents) said, “Many young people whose parents are addicted to drugs, alcohol or both are carrying a real burden. They may feel ashamed, guilty and responsible, and many of them are reluctant to talk to anyone, even their friends about it.
“Keeping such a secret can have real adverse effects on a young person’s mental health. They may feel anxious and stressed, or may use drugs and alcohol themselves to try to deal with their experience. There is a real lack of media encouraging young people to seek support, so Action on Addiction was delighted to be approached by Positive Images to make this film.”
Francesca/Christopher from Positive Images said, “We received funding from New Highway and Awards for All to make a film to help young people. We approached Action on Addiction to work with as we felt they had an excellent reputation of working with families affected by addiction and we knew there were few films which talk directly to young people affected by this issue.”
“Although we used actual recordings of young peoples’ experiences of living with a parent who drank or took drugs, we wanted to used masks so young people watching could reflect their own emotions on the faces of the boy and girl. We hope that it will encourage young people to speak to someone who can help them as we heard from the young people that even just sharing their problem could be beneficial.”
It is hoped that the film will be shared widely and that young people who are living in an environment where addiction is present, will be encouraged to approach someone – another family member, a friend, someone in school or even a doctor etc. who may be able to help in some way.
It’s really good and as a former school nurse, I really hope this is shown in schools as part of their PSHE curriculum 🙂