Those closest to the person using drugs or alcohol can usually see their use as a problem long before the user can. They will be worried about the health, behaviour and risks that the user is taking. This can sometimes lead to family arguments, financial problems, stress, anxiety, loss of sleep and lack of attention for other family members.
- If you are concerned about a loved one who has a problem with drugs or alcohol (including prescription medication), Footsteps can offer you support.
- In spite of the fact that drinking alcohol is socially and legally acceptable, lots of families are devastated by problem drinkers.
- When alcohol is drunk in large quantities unconsciousness and even death can occur.
- Severe problems with the digestive tract and liver can be caused by long term use of large quantities or alcohol.
- Withdrawal from drug or alcohol dependence can be extremely unpleasant and sometimes life threatening.
- It is estimated that every substance misuser affects the lives of at least four people within their family.
How you can support your family member:
- Try not to panic.
- Talk to them calmly (try not to lecture or lose your temper).
- Choose the right time to talk (not when they are obviously ‘stoned’ or ‘drunk’).
- Listen to what they have to say.
- Make sure you have up-to-date information about drugs and alcohol.
How can Footsteps help? ONE STEP AT A TIME…
- By listening – Our trained staff and volunteers are always ready to help. In a friendly, confidential environment you can talk to someone about your own situation. You can discuss your fears, feelings and concerns about the drug or alcohol user with someone you can trust.
- Through information – We provide up-to-date information about drug and alcohol use, including written information which you can take home. There is also information available about local services to support the drug or alcohol user.
- Through support – We will support the family member even when the drug or alcohol user is not ready to change their behaviour. Support them to cope with the situation in the best way for their family and to regain control over their own life, enabling family members to build on their strengths and coping skills.