Danish government to help children of alcoholics

Denmark’s parliament has agreed to offer support to the estimated 120,000 children in the country being raised in homes where alcohol abuse is an issue.

Local councils will now have to offer treatment within two weeks to children whose parents are alcoholics. Until the new ruling was made, children being brought up in alcoholic families have not received the offer of public support, but the Danish system has now been extended to offer them counselling and therapy.

Henrik Appel Esbensen, the head of TUBA, an organisation that focuses on offering assistance to children of alcoholics, described it as a fantastic day for kids with alcoholic parents. He said that justice has finally been served as these children now have a guarantee of support.

Esbensen acknowledged that TUBA, which has 13 support centres in Denmark, was now preparing for busy times ahead because of the state guarantee. He noted that there were more than 700 people sitting on waiting lists and, now the treatment guarantee has been introduced, they expected a huge increase in demand.

It is estimated that the new guarantee will cost around 70m kroner. Health authority Sundhedstyrelsen, meanwhile, estimates that about 630,000 Danes have been raised in families with alcohol problems. Children of alcoholics often suffer from anxiety and depression, and have a greater risk of falling victim to substance abuse and dropping out of education at an early age.