In 2006, a study revealed that about 5% of all adults in the UK are alcohol-dependent with one out of 24 parents drinking heavily; these figures put about one million children living with alcoholic parents (In the news, 2006). The Institute of Alcohol Studies (2009) also revealed in their latest statistics that 22.1% of children in the UK are living with alcoholic parents; and about 8% of children in the UK are living with parents who are drug abusers. Moreover, 3.6% of children live with parents who are both alcohol and drug abusers (Institute of Alcohol Studies, 2009). In other words, these children are put at risk of being exposed to neglectful and abusive parents. Alcohol abuse and substance abuse potentially affect entire families and these are also habits which, if not stopped, are often passed on from generation to generation (In the News, 2006). With the above considerations, this paper shall now answer the question: can parents who abuse drugs and alcohol be good enough parents? This discussion shall use relevant literature, theoretical frameworks and research findings in order to come up with a thorough and critical understanding of the subject matter. Various studies and researches shall be evaluated in relation to this subject matter, analysing them for validity and credibility.
Drugs and alcohol have different effects on different people. Shaw points out succinctly that “the good and bad effects of alcohol lie in complex psychological and sociological continua...Concepts of use and abuse have therefore been open to equally wide interpretations” (Shaw, 1978, p. 41). The effects of drugs and alcohol largely depend on a person’s physiology and sociology. Indeed, the adage, “being able to handle one’s drink” is appropriate in determining the effect of alcohol on a person. Some people may be able to handle their drink well, and others, not at all. Nevertheless,