Family Support: Information For Families
Family Support Handbook
Information For Families Affected By Someone's Drug And Alcohol Use (17MB)
Tragically some families experience the death of a loved one as a result of their drug and/or alcohol use. The death of a loved one is a devastating experience and family members often struggle to cope. Although each individuals experience and loss is unique, there are some common reactions that families may experience, and coping mechanisms that families may use following the death of a loved one.
Crime & Prison
Crime and substance use have long been linked. Criminal acts can range from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, to assaults, robberies, domestic violence, selling or storing drugs and prostitution. It is important to note that the majority of users will manage their drug use and not resort to crime and many will "grow out" of harmful alcohol or drug use.
Drug Related Intimidation
Not all families who are living with drug use experience intimidation as a result of drug related debt. Unfortunately, some families do experience intimidation and it can be helpful to have considered this issue and to have some information on it. Sometimes families are targeted to repay a debt that a drug using family member has run up.
Drugs and the Law
The main laws applying to drug offences originated in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977. This act has been added to and amended over the years to include new drugs, new offences and new penalties and all this information.
Drugs and the Family
Having a loved one/family member that drinks or uses drugs in a problematic way can be quite stressful. This can have a devastating impact on personal health, family relationships, finances, work, school, and many other aspects of life (Orford et al., 2010a,c). The substance user can often become the central focus within the family. The entire family can become absorbed by the substance user's problem.
Information About Drugs
A drug can be any chemical that causes changes in the way the human body functions. These changes can be mental, physical or emotional.
Information on Support Services Available
Information On Support Services Available
Methadone is a controlled drug and can be prescribed as an opiate replacement therapy. Methadone acts as a substitute for heroin and other opiates. The aim is to allow users to give up heroin without experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms.
Nature & Phases of Drug Use
In understanding drug use, it is useful to consider the following three key factors.
Health Issues Arising from Drug Use
There are many physical and psychological health risks associated with problematic substance use. These can arise for many reasons such as poor nutrition and life style. They can vary from feeling "run down" to serious illnesses such as cancers. Some of the more serious physical conditions are outlined below.
Help For Grandparents and Other Carers
As a parent of an adult child with alcohol or other drug problems, you may have ongoing and serious concerns for the safety and wellbeing of your grandchildren. This is a particularly difficult situation as you may be trying to help your child and maintain your relationship with him/her, while at the same time experiencing anger, frustration and fear for your grandchildren.
Overdose means having too much of a drug (or combination of drugs) for your body to be able to cope.
As highlighted in the previous section, living with a family member who has a drug/alcohol problem can impact on many areas of one's life and well-being. The question of self-care is an important one, and would be easy to dismiss by assuming that it is something attended to by everyone.
Social Work & Child Welfare
There are many agencies who work with families and sometimes families may need to avail of external support. Family life is not always easy. Life events like birth, death, depression, addiction, redundancy, separation, illness, abuse or financial problems all put stress and strain on family life and relationships.
Family Support Group Posters
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Family Support leaflet
Supporting someone who has a drug or alcohol problem; friends, partners and family members can sacrifice their own needs and wellbeing and focus all of their energy upon the person they think needs help most.
Supported by the Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force, G1 Family Focus is a new peer-led support group in Galway for families affected by someone's drug and/or alcohol use .
This support group is a safe and non-judgmental place for the family members of substance users to come together to discuss common issues in relation to dealing with alcohol/drug use within their family. It is facilitated by family members who have been affected by such issues in their own family and are former members of family support groups.
Some of the benefits of attending a peer-led family support group are to:
- Obtain knowledge and information
- Have your own space and time out
- Learn to cope with addiction
- Find unity and support
This group will commence on the 19th November in the Pastoral Centre, Newtownsmith, Galway. For further information, please contact Cecily/Margaret @ 085 111 5400.