Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man alcoholism affects thousands

About 10,000 people on the Isle of Man are thought to be affected by the problem of alcoholism, according to a local helpline service.

The estimate comes as part of a UK-wide campaign, Children of Alcoholics week, which aims to raise awareness of the affects of dependency on family life.

Shelly Stanley, of the island's Drug and Alcohol service (DASH), said the problem has far-reaching consequences.

She added: "We estimate there are about 10,000 people affected locally."

The DASH service runs a confidential counselling service for people of all ages who have been affected by alcoholism at home.

'Extremely guilty'

Ms Stanley said "It is a problem over here and what makes it more difficult to deal with is that it is a hidden problem. Children often feel extremely guilty coming forward because they feel they are telling on their parents.

"That sort of guilt can follow you through life if it is not dealt with properly, so we try to offer people the chance to talk confidentially in a safe place."

The Children's Commissioner for England has warned that in the UK, nearly one in three children lives with a parent who is a binge drinker.

Maggie Atkinson found that almost 3.5m children in the UK are affected by a parent who drinks alcohol excessively.

Ms Stanley said: "We see children who suffer from mental and physical abuse as well as emotional neglect.

"We try to help them see it is not their fault and that while they have no control over their parents drinking, they can take steps to look after themselves by developing more outside interests to get them out of the house.

"By giving people a safe place to talk and acknowledging their feelings, it can help to detoxify the situation."

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