Inevitably any consideration of women and alcohol problems must consider the family. Whereas not all women who have alcohol problems have children, many do, and these women are often poorly served by treatment services.
That is why it was so good to hear about the Parenting Under Pressure treatment model on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour this morning. It’s the first item on the show – listen here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p014ycwb
The piece features the excellent Professor Sharon Dawe, who has pioneered Parenting Under Pressure in Australia, with impressive results. The treatment model addresses not only substance misuse, but also parenting behaviours, and involves intensive support for families through home visits. The goal wherever possible is to keep families together, which makes sense – children removed into care we know do worse emotionally, educationally and psychologically than children who stay with their families. The NSPCC has in a very far sighted move funded a pilot scheme of Parenting Under Pressure in the UK, in 11 centres in the UK.
I have followed Professor Dawe’s work with interest, as my PhD examines Maternal Alcohol Misuse. We need more women like her, and more treatment programmes like Parenting Under Pressure, and more radio programmes like Woman’s Hour highlighting the issue.