A RECORD number of people have contacted the NSPCC helpline concerned about children whose parents are heavy drinkers or drug takers.

Last year the children’s charity received 10,207 calls and emails – on average almost 200 a week – about parental substance misuse, which is a 30 per cent increase on 2015/16.

One member of the public called the helpline and said: “I’m really worried for the safety of a child living with his parents.

"There is always heavy smoke lingering around the family home and I regularly see the parents intoxicated with alcohol and drugs.

"Sometimes I can hear them shouting and screaming profanities at each other whilst the child is in the home. It’s really upsetting.”

John Cameron, head of helplines at the NSPCC, said: “Every child should be able to grow up in a home where they feel safe and supported. The sad fact is that many young people are being deprived of this simple right due to one or both of their parents abusing drink and drugs.

“It is vitally important for the wellbeing of the whole family that adults who are misusing any substance seek help from effective programmes such as ‘Parents Under Pressure’.

“In doing so they will gain a better understanding of themselves and what they need to do to give their child the best start in life.”