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Swiss foundation helps children of alcoholics

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Swiss foundation helps children of alcoholics
Photo: David Goehring/File
13:03 CEST+02:00
Addiction Suisse, an independent organization supporting addicts and their families, launched a new project on Thursday aiming to help the estimated 100,000 children in Switzerland who have an alcoholic parent.

Revealed during a press conference in Bern, the project includes a new website, www.parentseteddiction.ch, which will give information to alcoholic parents and their family members about what they can do to help affected children, including how to explain addiction to a child, how to give them stability and how to support their relationships with other children and adult confidants.

In a press release, the organization said: “Being an addict and a parent is a double taboo.... It is very painful for a father or mother with a dependence to admit that their addition has an impact on their children.”

According to the organization, a third of children with an parent who is an addict go on suffer from an addiction of their own while a further third have other psychiatric problems.

Children “are therefore the group most at risk”, said Irene Abderhalden, director of Addiction Suisse.

In addition to the website, the organization also launched new teaching tools designed for children aged four to eight.

They comprise a story book about a dog and his alcoholic owner and four audio stories based on the daily life of affected children “which show them that they are not alone with their worries,” said the organization.

“When we don't manage to talk to children about their family difficulties in a manner that is appropriate for their age, we avoid tackling the problem,” it said.

“That's precisely what Addiction Suisse's new project aims to address.”

According to the Swiss statistics office,  17 percent of men and nine percent of women drink alcohol on a daily basis.

In 2014 the amount of alcohol consumed in Switzerland was 8.1 litres of pure alcohol per inhabitant, a figure that has reduced by nearly a quarter since 1990.

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