BBC Newsbeat spoke to a number of leading charities and found that there are at least 520,000 under 18s who are currently working as unpaid carers for their parents.
Most children in this position will find themselves struggling to have an active social life as well as juggling school and exams with looking after a parent. Unfortunately as it stands this often goes unnoticed by the social services and young carers miss out on valuable help.
The National Addiction Centre has released figures which show that around 3.4 million under 18s in the UK are living with at least one binge drinking parent, with another 2.6 million living with a hazardous drinker and one million with parents who use illegal drugs.
A spokesperson from Children Of Addicted Parents said: “There is no way charities and social services can get in touch with young carers unless parents come forward or someone sees there is a problem. The signs are often there we just have to look and listen out for them.”