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'Dying for a Drink' - alcoholism's affect on loved ones

The son of an alcoholic from Wiltshire has been speaking about his father's drinking. Photo: ITV News

The son of an alcoholic from Wiltshire has been speaking to ITV News about the desperation his family was in during the worst of his father's drinking.

It comes as there are growing calls for the introduction of a minimum pricing for alcohol in England after the go-ahead was given in Scotland.

In the latest of our series Dying for a Drink, we have been hearing the stories of people whose loved ones struggled with alcohol.

Josh Connelly with his father who died when Josh was just 9. Credit: ITV News

For Josh Connelly from Royal Wootten Bassett, growing up with an alcoholic father meant his childhood memories are filled with pain.

My Dad died as a result of alcoholism when I was 9 years old. He spent time in prison as well so we visiting him in prison and that was because of his drinking. There was lots of times within public situations where I was out where my Dad was drunk.

– Josh Connelly
In his early teens, Josh's anger led him to start drinking himself. Credit: ITV News

In his early teens, Josh's anger led him to start drinking himself. However, now he is 5 years sober and he volunteers for the National Association of Children of Alcoholics known as NACOA which is based in Bristol.

The organisation which is the only one of its kind in the country operates a free phone line for people in need of help and support, often it's the children themselves who call.

Nacoa operates a free phone line for people in need of help and support. Credit: ITV News

They deal with and they fight through the problems they have at home but they're missing out on some of the smaller things- bedtime stories have been read to children in the past.

– Josh Connelly

Homelife can also be devastating for the parents of alcoholics.

Hannah McGugan battled alcohol addiction for 16 years. Her mum Cathy describes it as a desperate time

Hannah McGugan and her mum Cathy. Credit: ITV News

You go through so many emotions- absolute desperation, fear, anger and guilt because that's your child so it must have been something you did. It was pathetic to see the person I knew she could be in such a desperate state. She was helpless, and so were we.

– Cathy McGugan

Hannah entered recovery 5 years ago and, with the support of her family, has now rebuilt her life.

We thought we were going to lose her, I didn't think she would live much longer so when this happened and we could see it happening and we let ourselves believe it was happening, it was miraculous.

– Cathy McGugan
Hannah entered recovery 5 years ago and, with the support of her family, has now rebuilt her life. Credit: ITV News

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