I’m worried about someone else’s drug or alcohol use. What can I do? Having a family member who has a problem with alcohol or drugs can have a huge emotional impact on the whole family.
Families and Friends
The person using alcohol or drugs has to want to stop and may not accept kindly meant advice from concerned loved ones. It can be helpful to speak to someone outside the family, which is where ADA can provide support.
You can contact us via our helpline, e-mail us or drop in to see us – whatever is easiest for you. We also run a family support group where you can meet others who are going through a similar experience.
The use of alcohol and drugs can affect families in different ways. The person using alcohol or drugs has to want to stop and may not accept kindly meant advice from concerned loved ones. As a family member of a loved one using substances it can be hard trying to understand that behaviour. It is normal to feel scared, frustrated, angry and confused when you find out that a family member is using drugs or drinking too much. Many family members and especially parents ask themselves if something they have done has caused alcohol/drug use and commonly experience guilt. Many regret past actions or reactions. However, only users themselves can make the choice to drink or use drugs and only they can decide to stop. In the same way families and friends of users are responsible for their own choices and behaviours too, which can in turn have influence on the user. For example;
- Some people want to provide support but feel uneasy about giving money that might be used to buy alcohol or drugs. Perhaps it may be easier to offer to buy some food as this has less currency.
- Being helpful and supportive, such as offering love and encouragement when a user is trying to stop or is starting treatment. Sometimes you may feel you have ‘heard it all before’, but if possible being positive about changes, even small ones, may help.
- Try taking care of yourself and you will be in a better position to help your loved one. It’s OK not to be with them every day and to have some time to yourself.
It can be helpful to speak to someone outside the family, which is where ADA can provide support. We work alongside people to build trusting relationships and to provide appropriate, accurate and honest information to help people make informed choices and decisions. At ADA, we offer family inclusive services where family or one to one support is available from a substance use worker. Families can get a better understanding of their loved ones alcohol and or drug use and be part of their recovery. It may also be necessary, for family members (as with those who have the issues) to have the support of those going through similar situations to themselves. This is available via the ADA run peer led group (supported by staff) which meets every second Wednesday at the Timmermarket Clinic in Aberdeen from 7pm - 9pm.
To get advice, receive support and access any of our services, you can contact us via our helpline 01224 594700, e-mail us firstname.lastname@example.org or drop in to see us – whatever is easiest for you.
Testimonials for client who have attend our group:-
"I no longer feel overwhelmed and alone. The Group's given me the confidence to handle everything."
"Thinking that you're the only one who's going through hell is the worst feeling in the world, but joining the Family Support Group showed me that I'm not alone at all!"
Read Sarah's Story of her experience of the family support group:-