Parliament has agreed to extend assistance to the more than 120,000 children in Denmark growing up in families struggling with alcohol abuse.
From now on councils must provide treatment to children and young people whose parents are alcoholics within 14 days.
“It’s a fantastic day for all children of alcoholic parents,” Henrik Appel Esbensen, the head of children of alcoholics’ therapy and counselling organisation TUBA, told DR Nyheder.
“Justice has been served, because the parents have always had a guarantee. Now the children will have one too.”
Until now children of alcoholics have been left out of public support, but the agreement means that the offer of therapy and counselling has been added to the system.
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Susceptible to substance abuse
TUBA, which has 13 centres around the country, expects busy times ahead thanks to the state guarantee.
“We have over 700 people on waiting lists and, with the treatment guarantee, we expect a massive increase in demand,” Esbensen said.
Children of alcoholics are particularly susceptible to depression and anxiety, and are at an increased risk at ending up in substance abuse and failing to complete education.
It is expected that the guarantee will cost the state about 70 million kroner. The health authorities, Sundhedstyrelsen, estimate that about 630,000 Danes have grown up in families with alcohol abuse problems.