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Warning over parents' alcohol habits

Too many middle-class parents are drinking excessively as a way of coping with the demands of family life, a report suggests.

The study for charity 4Children warns of a "silent epidemic" of alcohol misuse in British families.
It claims that two million parents drink alcohol daily, with the highest earners drinking the most.
The study claims parenting capacity can be hampered by habitual drinking.

The report, Over the Limit: The Truth about Families and Alcohol, suggested about a third of mothers and fathers drink more than their recommended units a week.

But 62% of the 575 British parents questioned as part of the report said that their drinking behaviour had no impact on their family life. And one in five (19%) believed their alcohol consumption had a positive effect on their ability to parent.

The report said the households most likely to drink were the wealthiest - with almost four times as many families in the top-earning groups, drinking every day compared to the poorest.
It added: "The parents who consumed the highest quantities also tend to escape social stereotypes around alcoholism."

The arrival of children seems to have led more parents to drink more, with one in six increasing consumption after the birth of a baby.

The report, which was also based on in-depth research with family alcohol misuse services, said:
“Most mothers are advised about the impact of alcohol during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but not on the impact it can have after babies are born.”

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