Duchess of Cambridge launches addiction program
Addiction in a family can be a painful ordeal, especially for children growing up.
As such, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, launched M-Pact Plus Project, a charity partnership that aims to reduce the impact of addiction on children who live in families with addiction problems. She visited The Willows Primary School in Wythenshawe Manchester together with John Bishop where she launched the new counseling program focusing on preventing the cycle of dependency.
The main aim of this project was to address the needs of children raised in families with parental substance abuse, including the lack of specialist support for them. It also aims to eradicate high drug and alcohol dependency in these children, often in their early teens. This project was funded by The Royal Foundation and The Comic Relief.
Primary school: best starting point
The Duchess of Cambridge noted that primary school was the best place to identify children living in such situations early on and provide them with the support they need. Saying addiction was a hugely complex and destructive disease with devastating effects, she was also struck by the damaging impact parental substance abuse has on the children.
She cited several studies that showed children raised by addicts were seven times more likely to have addiction problems themselves.Perhaps no other place could demonstrate the enormousness of the addiction problem than the United States, where about 18 million are alcoholics while millions more abuse certain types of drugs.
In addition, these children were often found to have been brought up in families surrounded by fear, chaos, and instability. It's even tougher when the addict him/herself does not acknowledge that s/he has a problem, whether it be drug or alcohol addiction.
Fortunately, Middleton said, with the help of a specialist and targeted delivery of care, they would be able to give the children a real chance for a better life.
This project is brought by the partnership between Place2Be and Action on Addiction to offer early support for school children affected by their parents’ drug or alcohol misuse. Action on Addiction specializes in the prevention and treatment of substance abuse. They would provide the Place2Be staff with the skills and knowledge needed to help the victims through specialist clinical support for practitioners. They would also teach them how to deliver the program to measure the effects of drug and alcohol abuse on the children and their families.
Place2Be, on the other hand, will provide school-based emotional and mental health services for children and parents, and would also stretch their network across schools and voluntary and social care agencies. They would take the whole-family approach to tackle addiction. Among its stellar credentials are winning the Advice, Support, and Advocacy category at the 2011 Charity Awards and being shortlisted in the Education and Training category in 2010.
More than a million children affected
Research shows that more than a million children in the United Kingdom live in homes where parents are using drugs and alcohol. This living condition has a detrimental impact on the child’s well-being and education. The collaboration between the Place2Be and Action on Addiction would allow the initiative to reach more children and families that need their help to provide support and to ensure that the children face better prospects and brighter futures.
The counseling scheme was piloted in Wythenshawe and would also deliver services to Tower Hamlets, Harlow, London, and Northumberland. This partnership would also provide programs across schools throughout England and would deliver proven methods of supports for young children and families.