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Page last updated at 13:24 GMT, Thursday, 29 April 2004 14:24 UK

The invisible kids

Children
Panorama: The Invisible Kids was broadcast on BBC One on Sunday, 9 May 2004 at 22:15 BST. A signed version will be shown on Friday 14 May, at 01:55 BST

The problems of drug addiction have been known about in the UK for at least a generation.

But there is one group of individuals, the most vulnerable group of all, who are the innocent victims of drug abuse - children of drug addicted parents.

Panorama enters the nightmare world of "The Invisible Kids" to investigate the harsh realities of life in an addict family.

It was my step-mum who first introduced me to drugs
'Kylie'
Through testimony recorded with children aged between 10 -15 years, we hear of the violence, the neglect and the hardship, the uncertainty and chaos of family life dominated by drugs.

There are tales of embarrassment and fear but also accounts of love, loyalty, and resilience in the face of dreadful odds. To protect the identity of the children who were interviewed, other youngsters of the same age will tell their stories.

It is estimated that there are between 250,000 and 350,000 children of drug addicted parents in the UK. But the authorities admit that they know little or nothing about these children even though they have a legal responsibility to protect and care for them.

Many of these young lives will be damaged, most will be disadvantaged, few will escape such an experience unharmed. Their voice is rarely heard. This is their story.

Production team:
Producer: Murdoch Rodgers
Deputy Editor: Andrew Bell
Editor: Mike Robinson



SEE ALSO
Hidden Harm
09 May 04 |  Panorama
Advice and stories for children
07 May 04 |  Panorama
Charities and confidential advice
07 May 04 |  Panorama
Your comments
07 May 04 |  Panorama

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