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Pressure 'driving mothers to drink'

Some mothers are turning to alcohol to deal with the pressure of being "supermums", putting their children at risk of depression and anxiety, according to a new report.

Alcohol misuse within families is an "escalating concern", according to Turning Point, a charity providing services for people with complex issues, including drug and alcohol misuse and mental health problems.

In its new study, Bottling It Up: The Next Generation, the organisation warns that 2.6 million children in the UK are living with a parent who drinks at hazardous levels.

Between 2010 and 2011, 12,248 people used Turning Point's alcohol treatment services and nearly half (5,326) were parents, of whom more than a third (1,925) were mothers.

The average alcohol consumption of parents was 30 units per day - 24 for mothers and 33 for fathers.

This is the equivalent of 15 glasses or three bottles of wine or up to 15 pints of beer - almost 10 times recommended limits.

The report said "a key issue was that mothers often felt under pressure to be 'perfect' and that alcohol was a way of coping with the demands of motherhood.

"Some said a lack of support from their partners was a trigger for their drinking.

"Others were drinking at least three nights a week and consuming more than 70 units - the equivalent of nearly eight bottles of wine.

"Their drinking was often in secret when their children had gone to bed."


From Belfast Telegraph