Concerns raised for children of East Midlands addicts

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A children’s charity helpline has seen an increase in the number of people reporting drug and alcohol use around children over the last three years.

More than 700 people from the East Midlands contacted the NSPCC last year to describe potential substance misuse amongst adults when children and young people were in their care or nearby.

The number is up by 16 per cent since 2013 /14, when 620 people got in touch.

Over the last three years the focus of more than 2,100 calls to the NSPCC helpline has been children’s exposure to alcohol, drugs and other substances.

Some cases were judged to be so serious the charity made nearly 2,000 referrals to external agencies, including the police and children’s services, about substance abuse around children in the past three years.

NSPCC Midlands campaigns manager Ally Sultana said: “Drug and alcohol abuse can have hugely damaging effects around children and it’s clearly troubling to see a rise over time in reports of this problem to our helpline.

“Substance misuse all too often leads to the neglect or abuse of a child and it’s absolutely crucial that we do all we can to stop that. The NSPCC provides services directly to families suffering from these problems to help them overcome them and provide their children with a safe and secure upbringing.

“But everyone has a duty to look out for potential signs of distress and the NSPCC’s helpline is there to provide help and support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

To report concerns about a child, call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.