Information For Families Affected By Someone's Drug And Alcohol Use.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In understanding drug use, it is useful to consider the following three key factors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.