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Churches urged to look out for 'subtle signs' of alcohol abuse

Tue 14 Feb 2017
By Premier Journalist

A Christian addiction expert has warned churches to be on the lookout for the "subtle" signs of alcohol and drug abuse among members.

His comments come on the same day that the NSPCC released figures showing that there has been a 16 per cent rise in reports of parents being under the influence of drink or drugs while looking after children.

According to new figures from the NSPCC, there is now one incident every hour.

It received 8,552 last year - up from 7,371 reports in 2014.

Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

 

Chris Wood from the Christian rehab centre Yeldall Manor told Premier's News Hour that the figures come as no surprise to those who work with addicts.

He said: "Actually, it's probably quite a lot more than that to be honest; those are the ones that are reported. It all depends on what you mean by abuse or neglect; some of its overt - you can see dad ranting at the kids in the street - but a lot of it is far more subtle than that."

Wood added that addiction is often devastating to families and parents with addiction can pass on the habit to their children.

"Often a lot of our guys coming through here will not know who one or the other parents are or would have been brought up in a house where both parents are active heroin users and are around needles."

Wood said that there were plenty of ways that churches can help those with addiction.

"Churches are not brilliant at helping addicts. If you can't be honest and open at church because you feel too embarrassed, than something really needs to be done about that. There is so much addiction out there that we need to recognise that prayer is the most powerful tool we have.

"How do you deal with the drunk that walks in and starts spoiling the service? It's not easy - you have to think about the majority of people in the service but at the same time that guy is hurting and the church can go a long way in understanding why people get in that state."

Listen to Aaron James speaking to Chris Wood here:

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